Category Archives: random thoughts

It’s new to you!

Summertime in my youth was always a double-edged sword.
On the one hand, it meant no school, and long days of swimming, exploring the wash, daring each other to race our bikes without hands down The Big Hill, and endless sleepovers.
On the other hand, it meant that there wouldn’t be anything new or interesting on TV for at least four months.
Isn’t it strange, that as children we could watch the same episodes of Scooby Doo and Gilligan’s Island over and over again, and never get tired of them, but when summer showed up, and CHiPs went into re-runs, it was a major thing?
Maybe it’s just me.
So I hated re-runs. I always felt like the people making the shows were loafing, and I wanted my TV, dammit.
Then eMpTyVee came along, and gave me the attention span of a ferret, and I didn’t care any more.
Oh, this is totally unrelated to anything, but I have really nasty poison oak on my right arm, and the back of my left hand. I must have gotten it when I took Ryan geocaching last weekend. Yesterday, I scratched my arm so badly I made it bleed. I looked like I was from one of those scary movies about a guy who has poison oak and he scratches his arm so badly it bleeds. Scary!
Where was I? Ah. Reruns.
So I hated them. But, since I work primarily as a writer now, I understand that there are days, weeks, or even months, when you are just completely out of ideas.
This week has been like that. All of my creative energy is going to Arena, the ACME show, and getting ready for the sketch comedy show on the cruise.
But you know the cool thing about re-runs? If you didn’t watch every episode, the re-run would be what the geniuses at NBC called “New To You!” Meaning, of course, that they wouldn’t have to do any new work, and they could entertain a whole new group of people for free.
So guess what I’m doing today? Re-running an old weblog entry from August 27, 2001.
It’s a story that I really like to tell, and that I’d like to share with anyone who’s just showing up for the first time around here.
It’s the story of how my wife found our dog, and it’s called “Save Ferris.”

Save Ferris

I’m listening to Cake right now. Have you noticed that Cake is one of those bands that evokes a visceral reaction in people? I mean, they either really, really love it, or they really, really hate it. I dunno, maybe it’s just me.
Here’s the story of Ferris:
My wife is the coolest, ever. You know that stupid corny hallmark-card thing about someone making you want to be a better person? Well, sorry, I like to be anti and all Emo and shit, but it’s true. I love my wife more than anything, and she really does make me want to be a better person. I could gush about her for pages here, but I’m not gonna. I am going to exercise restraint.
Oh, fuck that. I knew from the moment that I saw Anne that I would marry her. Isn’t that weird? Has that ever happened to someone who wasn’t in some godawful Nora Ephron movie? And the way we met…it was all timing. My best girlfriend, Stephanie, worked with Anne for YEARS, but she never introduced us…I mean, she even babysat Anne’s kids, at MY PARENT’S HOUSE when we were younger, and she never introduced me to Anne…because, when we look back at stuff, the timing was just all wrong. We weren’t ready to meet each other. But when we did, it was bootylicious.
Anne is beautiful. I mean, she is fucking hella rad.
Hella.
Hella.
Hella.
I always joke that when we are out, people look at us and complain that there’s another hot babe with a geek. I say that I am Bob Goldthwait to her Nikki Cox, David Copperfield to her Claudia Schiffer, Sigfried to her Roy…I truly adore my wife, and that’s all I have to say about that.
One of the things I adore about her is how she has what Soul Coughing called “Boundless Love”. Anne works every day, takes her kids to school, picks them up, deals with their dad, and still has time to make me feel like I’m important in her life.
We have this fake dog poop that someone gave us a long time ago, and we have the game that we play, where we try to put the poop in each other’s stuff. Recently, I stuck it in the toe of her shoe, which was in her suitcase. She found it when she put her shoe on in Vegas. She put it in the exact middle of my bed, under the sheets, and it scared the hell out of me when I jumped into bed around 230 or something last week. My point is, my wife is cool, okay? Yesterday, when I was sobbing like a little bitch in our bedroom, she came in, sat next to me, put her arm around me, and just sat there, loving me. I could feel it. Then she gave me Kleenex, and told me that she’d leave me alone until I felt better.
So you need to know that to understand the story of Ferris.
Anne is a sucker for hard-luck cases, especially animals. One time a few years ago, she almost got hit on the freeway, because she saw a kitten running in the slow lane…so she stopped her car right there and got out to save the kitten, but it got hit by a car just before Anne could get to it, and Anne sat on the freeway, holding the kitten while it died in her hands.
She was fucked up about it for months.
So about 18 months ago, she and I are on our patio, and we hear this meowing coming from our garage. We both thought it was one of my cats, Biko or Sketch, (who are both inside cats, but occasionally get out), so we went to look…and out comes this skinny black cat with no tail. Anne immediately falls in love with him, and she takes him to the vet, to get him healthy again, while I make the “Found Cat” posters. Long story short: We thought he was going to die, the vet said he was just dehydrated, we got him shots, and Anne named him “Felix”. He has lived with us ever since, and he is one ot the coolest cats, ever.
Shortly after Felix came to live with us, a woman Anne works with told us about this guide dog she trained, who was also named Felix. She told us that Felix works for a guy up in Canada (and you can’t spell “runaway production” without Canada!), and Felix had been hit by a car, and they weren’t sure if he would be able to work as a guide dog any more. I guess when a service dog has to be retired, they give the person who trained that animal the right of first refusal as a place to live out their life, but Rita (Anne’s friend) lives in an apartment with her husband and young son. Not the best place for a 90 pound lab. So Rita asked her if Felix could come to live with us, and of course Anne said “yes”. Long story short: Felix was okay, and he’s still working with his guy in Canada. Which is great, because I can only imagine what the bond between service dog and owner must be like. I would just speculate that it’s similar to parent-child, and I always hoped that Felix would be able to stay with his guy. In the process of waiting to see if Felix would come live with us, we got on a list for guide dogs who flunk their final exam, because we have wanted a dog for AGES, and we thought that would be the best way to get one.
We are ADAMANTLY opposed to pet stores selling dogs and cats, by the way /soapbox.
Anyway, cut to Memorial day this year. We have no dog. Anne is taking the kids to Home Depot, so they can buy the materials necessary to make a grind rail (they’re all about the short boards. I’m all about the long boards. It makes for an interesting dynamic when we skate).
Funny aside: Ryan (12) and Nolan (10) were talking about how excited they were to get a grind rail, which they kept calling a “pole”. Nolan says to Ryan, “We TOTALLY have to get some grinding wax, Ryan!” Ryan replies, “Yeah, so we can wax our pole!”
Okay, so they’re leaving the Home Depot, and instead of going to the left, to get back to the freeway like they always do, Anne goes right, and passes this bus stop, where this tiny little dog is chewing on a t-shirt. Anne says that she felt compelled to stop and save her. So she did. As soon as she got out of the car, the dog ran into some Oleander bushes, and Anne spent close to 30 minutes getting her out, and took her to an Emergency vet, for some shots and to get the ticks out of her ears.
So Anne brings home this skinny, 27 pound, depressed little dog, and I must be totally honest, I was pissed. I was so mad that she had made this huge decision to take on the responsibility of a dog without consulting me. I mean, we have enough responsibilities already, you know? We really had it out. There was much gnashing of teeth, and Sir Robin soiled his armor. We finally agreed to keep her for a few days, and see how she was, and if she wasn’t any better, we’d take her to a shelter where they don’t euthanize the animals.
Well, the dog was terrified of me. She had CLEARLY been abused by a man, and she was terrified of men. “Great,” I thought, “I’m going to be responsible for a dog who never lets me pet her. Terriffic.”
And for the first 12 hours–wait, I know I’m not supposed to start a sentence with a conjunction. But I can’t spell for shit, so why are you complaining now? Jeeze. Get off my back, Mrs. Lee [9th grade english teacher who flunked me because she said I couldn't write. I win.]–for the first 12 hours, she sat by the side door, never moving, never eating, just looking depressed. But somehow, my amazing wife loved this dog enough, and totally turned her around. Within 12 hours she was wagging her entire body, eating, chasing a tennis ball, and generally acting like a dog. And she let me pet her, and started following me everywhere around our house.
So we decided to keep her. But she needed a name…and that was very important. I wanted to give her a name from Mythology…”Athena” or “Psyche” or something. I know, lame. Deal. The kids wanted to name her “Haley”, which didn’t work for me at ALL, because in high school I had the most painful crush on a girl named Haley who treated me like Duckie…so we decided that we’d try on different names for a few days, and the right one would reveal itself to us.
Anne comes home from work the next day, comes in the door, looks at me and says, “Ferris.”
“Bueller?”
“Sort of. Save Ferris!”
Okay, there is this band from OC that we LOVE called Save Ferris. They play with our friends fairview a lot. They rule.
Anne says, “Get it? Save Ferris. I totally saved Ferris!”
I looked at the dog, looked at her sweet, marble eyes and soft little puppy-fuzzy-head, and it was perfect. Not surprising, considering that it came from my wife.
So her name is “Ferris”.
Isn’t that a cool story?
Anyone?
Anyone?
Bueller?
Bueller?

CruiseTrek

This is a public service announcement, with guitar!
I have signed on to attend the upcoming CruiseTrek to Alaska.
CruiseTrek is always lots of fun, and I’m really looking forward to being a part of this year’s cruise. I’ll be bringing a small sketch comedy troupe with me, and we’ll be performing a sketch show, similar to the one we did in Las Vegas, but with some new material. We’ll also be performing an improv show, and we’re going to run some improv workshops for anyone who’s interested. You can get more information about the cruise here.
In completely unrelated news, I hung a screen door over the weekend, and it was one of the hardest, most frustrating home improvement things I’ve ever done.
How about a thought for today? We haven’t had one of those in quite some time:


“Consistency is the last resort of the unimaginative.”
-Oscar Wilde

The World Is New

I am under a brutal deadline at work, and I’m working on The Next Big Thing(tm) right now, so updates are going to be a little thin for a few days.
However, I would like to share a couple of spiffy mentions I’ve gotten this week:
First, I was mentioned in McPaper as one of the Top Ten Celebrities We’d Like To See Back On Television.
I’m guessing that G4 doesn’t count just yet, since we’re in a relatively small number of homes :-)
Speaking of G4, when I was at E3 last week, I did an interview for HomeLan Fed, which came out pretty well.
Finally, tonight on the JKvS Show our guest is Save Ferris! If you’re in LA, it’s really worth it to come and see the show. They’re a great band, and we’re going to have lots of fun tonight.
Hope everyone has a good weekend. I should have some good stuff next week.

Misc.

Last night, at the Los Angeles Underground Film Festival Awards Dinner, Jane White is Sick and Twisted won best comedy, and my friend Danica won best new director for her movie Speechless, in which I have a small part.
How cool is that?! I’m in two movies which won awards, and I got to meet Zack Ward, who played Scut Farcus (He had yellow eyes…so help me God, yellow eyes), who was hosting the awards ceremony. It was funny…during the opening of the ceremony, he’s reading his prepared jokes, which are really funny, and he looks at me (I was sitting near the stage) and he totally stops and says, “Hey, Wil Wheaton! How you feeling?” The whole room is staring at me, so I say, “Uhhh…singled out.” Which is really funny, you see, because I was sitting next to my friend Chris Hardwick, who is not only in Jane White, but also hosted Singled Out on eMpTyVee. Unfortunately, I was the only one in the room who enjoyed the ironic humor.
You know, this is also a good time to share with everyone that Jane White has gotten rave reviews, and has also won quite a few awards! I’m extremely proud of Jane White, because it’s the first movie that I’ve done that is really just 100% comedy (on purpose, unlike The Curse).
When we were done at the awards dinner, Chris talked me into going up the street to The Laugh Factory, because he’s friends with Bob Saget, and Saget was doing a set. Now, here’s the thing about Saget: He’s insanely dirty, profane, raunchy, offensive, and hilarious in person. He is so unlike the stuff he does on TV, and if you ever get a chance to see him, I highly recomend it.
Three random things:
I noticed this morning that searching for “Wheaton” on Google Images gives rather interesting results.
I had an interesting thought about why Geocaching appeals to me so much, especially as an activity to do with the kids: it’s about the journey, much more than it is about the destination.
My step-kids have spent so much time around hyper-competitive Little League and Soccer parents and coaches, who put the focus on winning at all costs, rather than just playing (despite what the various organizations claim about sportsmanship) that I want them to be in an environment where their enjoyment is in the doing, rather than based solely on their success. Geocaching puts the focus right where I want it to be, and even if we don’t find the cache just taking the hike and spending the time together is awesome.
Some birds are building a nest in my breezeway. I think that’s really cool.
Thought for today:

“If you hate your parents, the man or the establishment, don’t show them up by getting wasted and wrapping your car around a tree. If you really want to rebel against your parents: outearn them, outlive them, and know more than they do.”
-Henry Rollins

The Need To Win

The Need To Win
When an archer is shooting for nothing
He has all his skill.
If he shoots for a brass buckle
He is already nervous.
If he shoots for a prize of gold
He goes blind
Or sees two targets-
He is out of his mind!
His skill has not changed. But the prize
Divides him. He cares.
He thinks more of winning
Than of shooting-
And the need to win
Drains him of power.
-Selections, Chuang Tzu

Perchance to dream…

Everyone who emailed and commented seemed to really enjoy the last entry, and I’m really happy about that. I am very proud of it, and I’m going to see if I can get it published someplace. This is an odd feeling for me, because I am usually very critical of everything I do, which prevents me from sitting back and saying to myself, “Hey, Wil! You did a good job! Enjoy it!”
Anyway, I’m going to submit The Trade to This American Life, and see what happens. Cross your collective fingers for me, if you don’t mind. :-)
Anne shared a sentiment with me last night, which I think she heard from my mom, and it is the thought for today:

“A mother is only as happy as her saddest child.”

Screen Savers

I just found out that my weblog is going to be featured on The Screen Savers tonight.
So I got to thinking (always a dangerous thing) that if they show a screen shot of my site, this entry will be at the top.
So it would be like I’m in the background at a baseball game, waving to someone through the TV.
*wave*
*wave*

God, I am such a dork.