Category Archives: Travel

waking up on the 40th floor

I’m on the 40th floor of a hotel that’s way too fancy for me. My room is bigger than my first apartment. A box next to the bed controls everything from the lights to the curtains to the music that seems to just appear out of thin air at the touch of a button.

Last night, I ate dinner in a restaurant that was way too fancy for me, and had the fanciest sidecar I’ve ever had. It had jalapeño in it.

I got to New York in one of the fanciest seats in the sky I’ve ever sat in. It could turn into a bed if I wanted, and it came with a TV.

In about an hour, someone is coming to my fancy hotel room to make me look fancier than I am, so I can go talk to the press about a new show — my new show — that the network is so excited about promoting, they put me in this fancy place to talk about it. If all this press works out, and enough people watch it, I may even get to do it for more than 12 episodes.

Tomorrow, I’ll go be fancy again, for pretty much all the press in the world, and then I get to go home to my wife and pets on Friday. I’ll spend the weekend with my family, in my house that I love, and I won’t have to do anything that I don’t want to do.

My new show, that I’ve been working on for over a year, premieres in less than two weeks, and even though we’ve been working on it for so long, it only began to feel real two days ago.

How did I even get this life? I will take none of this for granted. I will appreciate every good thing in my life, and keep working hard to earn those things. I am and will be grateful for everything in my life, even these things that feel too fancy and weird for me.

I keep expecting to wake up from all of this, which is probably why I can’t seem to sleep for more than 40 minutes at a time.

two pictures from portland

I spent the weekend in Portland, visiting my sister and her family. I also saw some friends, and recorded an episode of Livewire Radio. It was a gorgeous weekend, with perfect weather, so we got to walk even more than we usually do when we visit.

We were walking downtown with my sister and her son when I spotted this in the street next to the crosswalk:

pdx_toynbee.jpg

I got really excited, because it’s the first Toynbee tile I’ve ever seen that wasn’t just a picture on the Internet. While I was taking this picture, Anne was counting down the seconds on the crosswalk. Hearing “…4…3…2…1″ while I was taking the picture made the whole stupid thing a little more thrilling than it should have been, but I’m easily entertained.

One more picture (as promised in the title) before I get ready to go to the set:

steel_bridge

Steel Bridge is one of my favorite bridges in the country, and this weekend was the first time we walked across it and up the opposite bank of the river. When we were about a quarter mile from it, heading toward a different bridge to cross back to downtown, a boat came up the river toward Steel Bridge. “Dude! If we hurry, we can get up to the bridge and stand right there when it goes up!” I said to Anne.

“You think we can make it?” She said.

“Yes. I know we can.”

“Are you sure it’s going to go past the bridge?”

“Unless it makes a U-turn in the middle of the river, it has to go past the bridge,” I said. “Come on! It’ll be cool!”

We turned around and walked quickly back toward Steel Bridge, the boat slowly gaining on us. When we were about 500 yards from the bridge, the boat blew its horn, presumably to alert the bridge person that it needed to go up … but when I looked at the boat to see how far it was from the bridge, I saw that it had blown its horn to alert nearby vessels that it was making a U-turn in the middle of the river.

“Oh, for fuck’s sake,” I said, laughing, as we walked onto the bridge and began to walk back across it. “Well, it would have been cool.”

Anne laughed with me, and held my hand.

has anyone else had this uncomfortable experience with an Uber driver recently?

I really like Uber, and I’ll take Uber over a taxi every single time I can. I really like being in a clean car, with a friendly driver who genuinely cares about my experience, because I’m rating them and that matters to them. Basically, they work a little harder to give me better service, and I pay about a 5% premium for that.

Earlier this week, though, I took Uber to and from the Stone Company Store in Pasadena, and both drivers gave me this aggressive sales pitch that made me very uncomfortable. They both wanted me to contact them directly when I needed an Uber car, so they could drive to wherever I was, wait for me to request an Uber car, and then they’d answer the request.

Both times, the pitch was a very hard sell, accompanied by boasts about their clients in Bel Air or Beverly Hills, and left me feeling like I’d rather not ride with either of these guys again. When I’ve hired a driver, I just want that driver to get me where I’m going safely and comfortably. I don’t want to feel like I’m getting a high-pressure sales pitch when I’m basically a captive audience.

I’m putting this out there because I want to know if this is happening to anyone else in LA or any other cities? Is this some new kind of official Uber policy? Or did I just happen to get two seemingly random guys who were working off of almost the exact same script?

… and I’m talkin’ about the road

It’s the third day of the WIL WHEATON VS PAUL AND STORM MEGA ULTRA SUPER TOUR 2014, and we are in New York City tonight.

IMG_0126Last night in Philadelphia, we played one of the best shows we’ve ever played. I haven’t put together precisely why, but something just felt solid and locked together on the stage in a way that it hasn’t in the past. We always have fun, and we always feel good about our performances, but last night we all just felt connected in a way that we haven’t before, like we were sharing a brain.

The audience was great, and even demanded an actual for realsies encore from us!

Here’s a couple of shots from the theatre:

Paul and Storm doing a soundcheck.
Paul and Storm doing a soundcheck. (Bonus Anne Wheaton photobomb.)
Backstage, there's a wall covered with setlists from the bands who have played there.
Backstage, there’s a wall covered with setlists from the bands who have played there.
Storm's rockin' the house.
Storm’s rockin’ the house.
Obligatory artsy photo from backstage.
Obligatory artsy photo from backstage.
Intr.oducing the show
Introducing the show.

We stayed up very late, and didn’t get into bed until almost 3am. BUT! Before we left the theatre, we made another tribute to a classic American film:

Then, today, while we were on the road, we made two more featuring a pair of classic commercial jingles:

We keep joking about being “on the road, man”, knowing full well that driving for a couple hours at a time doesn’t really count, but it’s been really fun to hang out together as we drive from city to city. I’m getting to see a lot of, uh, refineries, and trees and also trees, and even some trees. We’re driving over lots of beautiful rivers and past houses that are older than the city I live in. I’m getting a real perspective on just how much of a dystopian urban sprawl I live in back in Los Angeles, and taking some small comfort in knowing that drivers near Washington, DC, are even worse than the ones we have at home.

IMG_0101
Refineries. Refineries everywhere.

Last night, the manager at the Live Café in Philadelphia told us that he loves it when nerd crowds come to shows, because they’re always awesome and polite and really fun to be around. I told him, “We have a wonderful audience, and I love to perform for them, because we all love the same things, and we’re basically here to celebrate those things together. And, as a general rule, nerds tend to be more awesome than dudebros.”

It sounded better in my head, and the post-show bourbon probably didn’t help with the translation, but my point was that we are very lucky to perform for the audiences who come to see us, and I’m grateful that I get to do what I do.

In a few hours, we’ll be on stage in New York, and tomorrow, we’ll be back on the road to Boston.

because I’m talking about the rooooaaaaddddd….

William Penn’s Wiener (or: Hello. I am 12 years-old. Again.)

Last night, we stayed in downtown Philadelphia. Our hotel room had a great view of city hall, which is topped by a giant statue of William Penn, holding a proclamation about the city’s commitment to fighting off bears or robots or something.

BUT! When you look at it the right way — like out our hotel window, for instance — it looks like he’s wagging his wiener at New Jersey.

William Penn's Weiner

He was truly a great American.

Wesley’s Sweater: Then and Now

Earlier this year, at a convention in New York City, a guy brought me this picture to sign for him.

Wesley Crusher's Sweater 1987

That’s me in 1987, wearing one of Wesley Crusher’s first sweaters.

As I reached for my pen, he reached into a bag he was carrying, and took out … that sweater, which he’d bought at an auction.

“OH MY SWEET BABY JESUS!” I may have shouted, “I NEED TO TAKE A PICTURE RIGHT NOW.”

So this happened:

Wil Wheaton holds Wesley Crusher's 1987 Sweater

As I held that sweater for the first time in 25 years, a flood of memories washed over me: the first day I worked on Next Generation, on Stage 16, walking through Farpoint Station with Gates … the first time I walked through the Enterprise, on stage 9, pretending that it was a real spaceship … the first time I walked into the bridge, while it was still being built on stage 6 … the first few months of working on Star Trek, being part of something I’d loved my entire life, and wearing truly awful sweaters in the middle of summer.

All my peers got to wear awesome spacesuits,  and I was in these ridiculous things that were never cool, in any century, including the 24th.  I remembered how happy I was when Wesley was promoted to Acting Ensign, and I knew that I wouldn’t have to put on one of those hideous sweaters ever again.

That’s when I got an idea.

There’s this thing on the Internet where people will post a picture that was taken in, say, 1987, and then recreate the picture in our modern times. I looked down at the sweater in my hands, and I knew what I had to do.

Wil Wheaton wears Wesley Crusher's 1987 sweater in 2013

I’m not gonna lie, Marge: putting that sweater on again felt strange, but also good.

Here they are, side by side:

Wesley's Sweater Then and Now

I love that I can still do that goofy smile — which was 100% genuine, because I was as excited to be on the Enterprise as Wesley Crusher was — all these years later. And though it felt pretty good to be temporarily reunited with an old friend, it felt even better to take that sweater off for the last time.

Chicago comicon wrap-up

I had a truly wonderful time at Wizard Comicon in Chicago this weekend. I met thousands of people who love the things I love, and spent a whole lot of time geeking out about the games we love to play and the universes we love to visit.

Here’s some of the really awesome cosplay I saw:

Rick Grimes and Darryl Dixon Cosplay Captain Planet Cosplay

I love love love that these young women decided to cosplay as the characters they love, even though those characters are male. I’ve seen tons of Doctor Who cosplay from women, and I think it’s extremely awesome that these ladies are not letting gatekeeper dipshits tell them that they can’t cosplay as the characters they love because of their gender. Kick ass!

I also got to see some really great examples of people getting excited and making things:

LEGO Tabletop painting!
LEGO Tabletop painting. Please enjoy the photobombing.
LEGO Tabletop painting!
Closer view of the LEGO Tabletop painting.

 

Wooden Gordie
This guy made this with a wood burning thing.
Watercolour Wesley
This young woman (I think her name is Amanda) painted this Wesley in (I think) Watercolour. I wish I’d taken a closer shot of it, because it’s beautiful work.

I also made some custom Cards Against Humanity cards, that you shouldn’t look at, because they’re kind of NSFW.

 

They don’t all have to make sense, you guys.
The is the underlying premise of my script "Doctor Screw".
The is the underlying premise of my script for “Doctor Screw”.

 

I got to see some really neat stuff that I didn’t know existed, like Cosmic Boy action figures (I was excited because I played Cosmic Boy on Legion of Superheroes).

Cosmic Boy

I also got to sign a bunch of Robin stuff, because I play the Tim Drake Robin in DC Universe Online, as well as a bunch of cool Blue Beetle stuff (I played Ted Kord on Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and so far I’m the only actor to play that particular role!) that I wanted to just keep for myself.

Finally, some of you may remember Wesley Crusher’s Sweet-Ass Motherfucking Bouffant. If you do not remember Wesley Crusher’s Sweet-Ass Motherfucking Bouffant, I suggest you go look at Wesley Crusher’s Sweet-Ass Motherfucking Bouffant right now. GO NOW I WILL WAIT.

At the con, I met a delightful young woman called Marty. Marty’s friend Hannah is the creative genius who made sure the world knew about Wesley Crusher’s Sweet-Ass Motherfucking Bouffant. I was so excited to meet her, I had to sign special pictures for the two of them:

Wil Wheaton's Bad Ass Motherfucking Fez

To Hannah: Look at this fucking sweet bad ass motherfucking fez. And what the fuck?! That’s right, it’s a false fucking moustache on top of a real motherfucking hot shit panty-dropping real moustache!

Back Right the Fuck Up And Look At This Motherfucking Picture

To Marty

Back right the fuck up and look at this sweet-ass motherfucking non-bouffant.

Fuck.

Yes.

In gold, Wil fucking Wheaton

We laughed really hard while I was writing these things down, which made me very happy, on account of me being easily amused.

I had a great weekend, and I though I have a few more stories to recount, I’m in the airport waiting to go to Indianapolis for GenCon, and it’s time for me to get on my plane and go PLAY MORE GAMES!

Chicago comicon day one

My first day at Chicago Comicon was damn fun, Dianne. Damn fun. My Q&A went well, I got to meet tons of enthusiastic and awesome people, and I was given the gifts of many, many craft beers.

Here’s a couple pictures:

2013-08-09 18.16.00

I got to sign a bottle of w00tstout!

2013-08-09 15.38.09

The world needs more Sparks McGee, so we can have more Sparks McGee t-shirts.

2013-08-09 14.42.16

This made me tear up a little bit. She got excited and made a painting with some of my fundamental rules for life on it.

2013-08-09 14.39.48

This is as painfully accurate as it is adorable.

2013-08-09 14.13.58

This is one of my very favourite things, ever. This young woman’s boyfriend took the words I spoke to Baby Violet, and put them all down on a poster. Then, he put “it’s not about what you love, it’s about how you love it” over them all. It’s really beautiful and was quite moving to me, and I loved it so much I’m hoping to work with the creator to offer something like this with dftba.

Oh, and the comicon is sharing space with a Beatles con, and a rare coin con. A few hotels away, there’s a horror con. It’s like a heist movie just waiting to happen.

in which John Barrowman sweeps Wil Wheaton off his feet

So John Barrowman is really, really awesome. Anne and I got to spend a bit of time with him in Phoenix at the comic con, and he was simply wonderful.

At one point, Anne showed him the picture of her and me with Nathan Fillion, and told him the story from Ottawa Comic Con.

“We should do that, only I’ll hold you and Anne will look sad,” John said.

I made a noise like a tween meeting Bieber, and then this happened:

John Barrowman Sweeps Wil Wheaton off his feetYep. That happened. For real.