Category Archives: Uncategorized

sound salvation

Here are some recent radio appearances of mine, that you can tune into for free:

  1. TheFandom.com is just under two hours long. It’s the interview I did on Monday. Chase and I talk about the history of my blog, my journey from actor to writer and (almost) back.
  2. Don’t have that much time? How about ten minutes? You can hear me talk with David Lawrence, on his Personal Netcast Podcast from last week. We talk about my plans for a podcast, and I say “goatfucker” a few times. This audio is quite Not Safe For Work, as I was in full-on potty mouth mode. So if that thing bothers you, don’t listen. If you do listen, don’t lecture me about it. In fact, don’t lecture me about it at all.
  3. Finally, there’s The l a z l o w show on K*ROCK in NYC. Lazlow is a friend of mine, and the genius behind the soundtrack for GTA: Vice City, as well as all the radio content in all the GTA games (he directed me as Richard Burns in San Andreas.) We talked about my books, poker, and some other stuff. It’s pretty funny, if I recall correctly, and it’s about 17 minutes.

I’m interested to know what WWdN readers think about my interview with Chase, and also what you think about my podcast idea — is it worth my time? All the linked files here are in .mp3 format.

life is good

It’s raining today for the first time in months. It’s a warm, tropical rain that has brought thunderstorms into my town, and even though lightning and explosive claps of thunder kept me up most of the night (and terrified my poor dogs), it makes me happy. In fact, thunder is booming right now and my car is getting a much needed free bath.
The last few days, actually, have been some of the best days I’ve had this year. I spent Saturday with my friends, playing super geeky games. I hadn’t seen them in months, thanks to mono and incompatible schedules, and I didn’t realize until I was sitting at Cal’s dining room table, drinking wine and playing Spooks, just how much my soul needs them, and how much my friends mean to me.
Isn’t that weird? It is so easy to take your friends for granted, all the while thinking about them, caring about them, and enjoying their company . . . but not considering what they actually mean to you, until you don’t see them for an extended period of time for one reason or another.
Sunday, I played in the Main Event of the World Championship of Online Poker. I busted out in 488th place — not too shabby out of over 1400 entries, but well out of the money. I went out hating myself, but the tournament quickly faded from my memory after I was done, because Anne and I went over to our friend Stephanie (who introduced us) and Patrick (her awesome husband)’s house for Patrick’s birthday dinner: bone-in fillet, heirloom tomato salad, creme brulee . . . and wine. Oh, sweet jesus on a pogo stick, the wine. Patrick is the general manager of a very popular restaurant here in Pasadena, which means he has access to some of the best wine from here to Milliways. I could go on and on about the amazing wine we had, but I’ll just say: ZD Reserve Cabernet. Holy. Fucking. Shit. It’s a good thing Anne was driving.
On the way to their house, Anne said, “You know, I love our house, and I love doing things with the kids, but sometimes it’s important to spend time with your grown-up friends, you know?”
I couldn’t have agreed more. I told her about Saturday at Cal’s house, and how I’ve missed our friends these past few months. Then we ate dinner and I told everyone just how much I love them. A few too many times.
When I woke up Monday morning, the smell of freshly-brewed coffee was heavier than usual in our house. I could hear bacon sizzling in the kitchen, and as soon as I got out of bed, Ferris and Riley almost knocked me down, they were so excited to see me. (Tangent: don’t you love how your dogs do that? I once saw a sticker or shirt or something that said something like, “Lord, please let me be the person my dog thinks I am.” Dog owners know what I’m talking about, and Ferris must know that I’m typing about her, because she just rolled over onto her back, and started wagging her tail.)
I walked out to the kitchen, where Anne was cooking.
“Is there coffee?” I said, in my tiniest voice.
“There sure is,” she said. She turned from the stove to the coffee machine, and spun around with the best coffee mug, ever. It had a picture of a pirate on it, and it said, “Dead ’till I gets me coffee.”
“This is for Talk Like A Pirate Day,” she said.
“Oh my god,” I said. “This is the best mug ever!”
She hopped a little bit, and maybe she made a happy squealing noise. “I was so excited to give you this,” she said, “it’s been killing me to keep it a secret!”
“How long have you had this?” I said.
“Almost two weeks,” she said. “Do you love it?”
“I love you” I said, and kissed her with my icky coffee breath.
We ate breakfast, and I settled down at the table to get a lot of work done, while she got ready to go down to The OC to pick up some blinds.
I checked e-mail and worked on Games of our Lives for about twenty minutes, when she bounced back into the dining room.
“Watcha doin’?” She said.
“Workin’,” I said. “Why?”
“Well, since I have to go down to Anaheim to get Nolan’s blinds, I’m going to be right around the corner from Disneyland . . . and I thought we could use our annual passes to go ride Pirates of the Caribbean. You know, for Talk Like A Pirate Day.”
I sprang out of my chair. “That is the best idea in the history of ideas!”
“Really?” She said, “you’ll really take the morning off to play with me?”
“If I didn’t, what’s the point of being my own boss?”
Fifty-seven minutes later, we picked up Nolan’s new blinds, and seventy-five minutes later we were in line for Pirates of the Caribbean. We held hands the entire time we were there, and shared a Churro in a sickly cute fashion that would have mortified our children, if they’d been around to see it. (Note to self: remember you just came up with a new way to mortify the children. Use it at the next available opportunity!)
I must have told Anne, “I’m really glad that we came to do this,” fifteen times in the span of a couple of hours. It was really fun, and a great capper to three supremely wonderful, perspective-restoring days.
On the way back to the freeway, we passed this lumber yard on Ball Road that always has interesting sayings on its sign. Yesterday, the sign said, “No man is a failure who has friends.”
The truth is, for a couple of months, I’ve felt like a huge, colossal, stinking failure in a lot of things that I’m not willing to go into right now. But spending a weekend with my friends, and a surprise Monday with my wife reminded me of some advice I’d been given and forgotten: Don’t let your work become your life, because when work isn’t happening, then what do you have?
Work may be frustrating, but life? Life is good.

radio, radio, radio. rodeo? radio!

Arrrr!! Today be talk like a pirate day, matey! Arr!
To properly shiver me timbers, I’ll be talkin’ (not like a pirate, arr) with me good bucko Chase Masterson on her radio show at TheFandom.com later today. The show streams on The Internets, starting at 4:00 PDT. Their archives are full of buried treasure, dontcha know, so ye should set yer sights on them, if ya dare. Arrr!

trampoline and the party

My good friend Loren, who is one of the people most responsible for this website even existing, is an incredible animator. Loren used to work for LucasArts, and he did animation on a lot of really popular games . . . until he got laid off.
Loren is too talented to be left out in the cold for long, though, and eventually some smart guys snapped him up to work on a game called Bone: Out From Boneville, that just came out today. Loren writes:

Bone: Out From Boneville is the first installment in the episodic series that tells the tale of Fone Bone as written by Jeff Smith. If you or someone you know was a fan of any of the LucasArts adventure games like Sam & Max, Full Throttle, Day of the Tentacle, or Monkey Island… then you’ll definitely dig this game. Many of the same creative heads worked were involved in making it.

There’s a free demo, and the full version is just $20, and Loren says

Seriously spread the word to any of your gamer friends, the advertising budget is pretty much non-existent and we are relying on word of mouth with all the adventure game fans.

I know all about non-existent advertising budgets, and word of mouth is more valuable than anything else, anyway.
So go check it out, tell some friends, and if you’ve got a review, leave it here so I can send it to Loren.
I’ve seen Fone Bone in comic shops for ages. It’s about time he got his own video game, so all the other characters who have games and statues and fast food tie-ins can stop teasing the poor little guy.

a DYWKWT announcement (one in a series. collect them all!)

Earlier today, I got together some copies of Dancing Barefoot for players in the Katrina tournaments. I sat on the floor in my living room, and tumbed through a copy, and felt like I was looking at baby pictures. You know how you are so proud of them now, but you occasionally miss the simpler times, when they couldn’t talk back?
Okay, that’s a lousy analogy, but you get my drift, right? The important thing is, I adore that little book! Even though the writing is a little rough in places, and will be seriously reworked before I do the audio version (which I’m thinking of as a “bugfix” release. Har. Har. Har.), I am incredibly proud of it. I worked very hard to make it as good as I was able (at the time), take it from idea, to product, and finally to readers. Whenever I reflect back on it, I feel terribly sad that the whole Just A Geek thing was so frustrating, and I am really grateful that that sadness is starting to be replaced by the excitement of finishing Do You Want Kids With That?
Because Do You Want Kids With That? will be a Barefoot-style book in so many respects, I asked my friend Ben Claasen III, who did the illustrations Barefoot, if he’d do some illustrations for The Kids. (Har. Har. Har.)
Readers have consistently told me that they love the illustrations from Barefoot, even the people who didn’t entirely enjoy the writing, so I am very proud and excited to announce that I spoke with Ben yesterday, and today he agreed to come on board for Do You Want Kids With That? His work is going to bring a lot to the final book, and I can’t wait to see what he creates.
Afterthought: I just came upon this review of Dancing Barefoot, at Amazon:

Whether you are a Star Trek fan (which I am not, but have friends who are…), a voracious reader of memoirs or aspiring memoirist (admitted), a Gen-Xer on the precipice of your 30s (which I am), or a fan of Wheaton’s Blog (which I’ve become), I recommend “Dancing Barefoot.”

Wow. Thank you :)

Liberal Blogger Sues Comedian

A famous satirist is suing an about-to-be-famous comedian . . . for satirizing him. Excuse me while I decide whether to scream or just smack my forehead.
Read my post at Blogging.la for the whole story.

51,581 and counting

Fifteen minutes before Katrina Relief tournament number three begins, here’s a quick look back at Katrina Relief tournament number two.
The final table included two friends of the blog:

1. darth_forte (Crofton, MD)
2. kkalin (Sterling Hts., MI)
3. 4_2_it (Huntingdon Valley, PA)
4. chico6y (Basel, Switzerland)
5. Saturn21 (Ottawa, ON, Canada)
6. FF07 (Bowie, MD)
7. spurgehogan (Arlington,MA)
8. GoodRev42 (Santa Ana, CA)
9. yestbay1 (Grapevine, TX)

yestbay1 is a longtime reader, fellow actor, and all-around supercool guy. Congratulations, DW! Also, GoodRev42, who is a fellow Metroblogger (he writes for The OC Metblog, but I won’t hold that against him) busted me out, follwing in the footsteps of stardawg, who busted me on Monday, and went on to finish second in the $5 tourney. The moral of this story is: if you bust me out of a Katrina Relief tournament, you will make the final table.
I’ll be live blogging the action in tonight’s $50 event over at CardSquad, for anyone who is interested.
And the whole reason we’re doing this is kicking ass. Our two events so far have raised $51,581.00 for victims of Hurricane Katrina. A whole bunch more will be added tonight.

*twitch* *twitch*

Frywithcoffee.gif
Anne is /away with one of her friends for a couple of days, on a well-deserved mini-vacation, so I’m pulling Mr. Mom duty with the kids. (So far, we’re having a great time, and I’ve managed to avoid setting any of us on fire. I’m very proud.)
But! This means that I get the entire pot of coffee to myself.
The world seems . . . really . . . clearandsharpandinfocus . . . today, and all the stuff I’m writing will either be reallyreallycool or reallyreallylame.
Bzzzt.

Do You Want Kids With That?

Welcome to the shiny new Do You Want Kids With That? department,* where I’ll track and discuss progress on my next book, which is surprisingly close to completion.
A famous author, (I think it was Harlan Ellison or James Ellroy,) once said something like, “Don’t just write what you know. Write what you love, and wish there was more of in the world.” Well, I love short stories I can relate to, like the ones I hear on This American Life, and I wish there were stories about the little and not-so-little victories we stepparents have, that help to balance out the tough stuff that comes with the territory. As a bonus, this also happens to be what I know.
So Do You Want Kids With That? is a collection of stories about being a stepparent, with a focus on those moments (with the kids and with my wife) that make the whole thing worthwhile. It’s not an advice or HOWTO book (or a Star Trek book, or a celebrity bio), but other stepparents may find a kindred spirit between the covers, and all you WWdN readers who have wanted more family stories will probably like it, too. (There’s only one poker story in the whole thing ;)
It is similar to Dancing Barefoot in a couple regards: it’s about the same length, and it’s a collection of material that originally appeard on my website. I took the entries that I liked the most, cleared out the blogcruft, reflected upon and rewrote most of them, and divided them into different thematic sections (one of them is tentatively titled “My Stepgeeks,” which I just love). My wife, Anne, has agreed to write down her thoughts and reflections on the entries, and I may even be able to get some commentary from Ryan and Nolan, which would be way cool. Do You Want Kids With That? will be released by Monolith Press later this year (but much, much sooner than you think.)
*I know that the category links don’t work. It’s on my list of things to fix.

the one time i was actually happy to see the ugly grey spacesuit

family_guy_stng.jpg Last night’s season premiere of Family Guy was one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen on television. The Spanish Quagmire, spitting milk on Meg, spitting milk on Meg (again), Brian walking in a little circle outside Lois and Peter’s bedroom, Brian and Peter doing the gameshow bit . . . uhm . . . what else . . . ?
Oh yeah, and seeing Wesley freaking Crusher!! I screamed so loud, it knocked out the power in Los Angeles today. (Sorry about that, Los Angeles. If it makes you feel any better, I had to sit at the intersection of Fletcher and Griffith Park — right by Astro Burger — for almost twenty minutes. And I had to pee.)
The thing that’s awesome, (and unintentional, I’m sure) is that the image here is exactly what it was like when I worked on TNG back in the day: we’re all laughing, having a great time, and Michael Dorn hates his Klingon forehead.
(Enormous thanks to WWdN Reader Aaron D. who sent me the screen cap. And yes, I know the ops and conn consoles are reversed. Don’t point that out, or everyone will know you’re a geek.)