Here Comes The Rain Again

Here Comes The Rain Again

Some things happened today that were cool: I hung out, all day, with my brother. I took my wife and kids to his house, and we played Tony Hawk 3, and Age Of Empires at his house. Jeremy works all the time and doesn’t live very close, so we don’t get to hang out as often as we used to. The kids totally look up to him, and just love being around him, and he took the day off today to hang with us, so that was really, really cool.
We went to lunch, and Ryan said to us that while he was at science camp, all the kids started calling him “EMENEM”, because of his short blonde hair. So I asked him if he was the Real Slim Shady, or just one of those imitators. Ryan takes a beat, and he says, “Well, Wil, here’s your answer.” And he stands up! I totally missed it, at first, but Anne caught it…I was so stunned, when I got it…that type of subtle, non-fart-related humor just doesn’t exist in your average 12 year old. As I reflected on it, I felt really warm and fuzzy, because I see both Ryan and Nolan developing senses of humor that are very smart, ironic, dry, and sarcastic…I wonder where they got that? *grin*
Ryan is *almost* ready for his first trip to Milliways…I’ll go pick out a towel for him next week.
We do this work with Ferris, where we train her. We work on a skill for a few times, treating her when she does it correctly, and then alternating treats with praise, until she knows what it is we want her to do.
Using this technique, we’ve taught her to sit, lay down, and roll over.
What Ferris really needs to learn is to come when she’s called, and we’ve been working on that. I have her sit and stay, then I walk away to another room of our house, and call her. When she comes, I give her a treat and some praise, and we repeat.
Small problem with Ferris: she is very smart, and when she’s learning, for example, to lay down, she will hear me say, “Ferris..” and she’ll just lay down, and look for the treat. So I have to make her get back up, and start over again. Sometimes it takes awhile.
I promise this will pay off…just bear with me.
So the other day, I’m working with her, and she’s very excited, because she loves the attention, she loves having something to do, and she loves the treats and praise. We’ve been doing the “sit, stay, come, good dog” thing for about 5 minutes, and she is getting really excited. She’s got lab in her, so when she gets excited, she just about turns inside out. I have her sit and stay in the kitchen, then I go to the complete opposite end of the house…past the ballroom, the conservatory, and right into the study. I call her, and she comes running into the room, crashes into me, looks at me, and then she sits, she lays down, and she rolls over. I just about died. I don’t know if it’s translating, but it was so damn funny to me, seeing her show me all her skills, without me saying anything…
Anne and I watched “Blow” night before last. I really enjoyed it. I thought it was a bit over-edited, but I liked the script and acting. that Ted Demme is quite the director, I tell ya what.
It’s raining here in Los Angeles, the first real rain of this season, and I really love it. It’s all yummy and chewey. Tonight, for dinner, Anne made turkey meatloaf and mashed potatoes and I built a fire in the fireplace. After dinner we all sat by the fire and played Apples To Apples, one of the coolest games, ever.
Yes, today was, indeed a good day. I hope you enjoyed yours, as well.

Preludes and Nocturnes

Preludes and Nocturnes

I had a semi-vivid dream last night. I say semi-vivid, because it felt very real when I was dreaming it, but as the day has gone on, I’ve lost most of it. Here’s what I recall: I was being chased by this very large man, who was some sort of creature. He was part simian, part alligator, and part human. He was terrifying, and was going to kill me. I was so scared of him, and I was running away, and, though he was very dangerous and bent on killing me, he was saying, “If I could only communicate with them [meaning humans], they’d understand. Why don’t they understand me?”
So I got the feeling that he/it was trying to communicate with us [humans], but he couldn’t speak our language, so we were afraid of him, and he was desperately trying to talk to us, so he was chasing me…I’m sure there is deep symbolism here, but I’m not very motivated to seek it.
The strange thing is, I was thinking to myself as I was laying in bed that I miss dreaming vividly. I just don’t dream as often as I used to, or at least I don’t remember them like I once did.
I was reading Ishmael before bed, and I had watched the X-files (with the freakshow), so I think I know where the dream originated…but it was still…uh…interesting, or something.

Veteran’s Day

Veteran’s Day

A moment of silence, and respect, please, for all the men and women who have sacrificed and served their country, whether in a conflict just or unjust, always with honor.
Mr. or Mrs. Veteran, thank you.

Galaxy Ball

Galaxy Ball

Yesterday, I participated in The Galaxy Ball. It was a cool reunion of sorts, benefiting the Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles, and some other worthwhile charities.
I got to share the stage with Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, and Jonathan Frakes! I was sitting backstage with them, looking at the four of us, and I was singing that old Sesame Stree song, “One of things just doesn’t belong…”and I was a little bit nervous, you know? Every time I get around those guys, I have always felt like a little kid again…but it was different, yesterday. When I first got there, Jonathan was already there, and he smiled that big, warm smile of his, and embraced me. he told me how happy he was to see me, and how glad he was that I was there. We talked about a bunch of stuff…the thing I remember most vividly is that neither one of us could understand why Vin Diesel is a star.
Brent arrived, sporting a very…interesting looking goatee. They joked that it was the first itme in our history together that Brent has looked more like Robert Goulet than Jonathan has. Brent told us that he’s playing a character called “The Evil [something something]” in the new Dana Carvey movie. He was hilarious, as always, and he seemed happy to see me too. They talked about the upcoming movie, how things are going with it, and marveled that I was almost 30.
Jonathan says, “Brent, do you know how old W is?”
Brent says, “Sure. He’s 37. But he doesn’t look it.”
I say, “Brent! How did you know? I’ve tried so hard to keep my age a secret.”
“Well, you were 22 when we started, Wil. Do the math.”
Laughed my ass off. Jonathan and I talked about TNG on TNN, and how we’ve been watching the old shows, impressed with how well they’ve stood the test of time. I told him how it’s strange for me to watch them, since I was so young when we did them. It’s like watching a high school year book come to life, I told him. So he looks at me, and he says, “You know, all of us just got older. But you grew from child to adult. So you’re the only one of us who’s really changed.”
That was cool. I felt, finally, accepted as an adult.
Patrick arrived, impish and mirthful, teasing everyone and stuff. He hugged Brent and Jonathan, and then fixed me with his gaze, and gave me the biggest bear hug a bald Englishman ever gave anyone. It was one of those joyous, warm, thoughful embraces that people just don’t give these days. It was very cool.
We went downstairs to the ball room, and took the stage. We joked with each other, we joked with the audience, we told stories, we all teased each other…and the whole time I was thinking, “I can’t farking believe that I am on stage with these guys. Holy crap!” But I kept my cool. Really, I did. Shocking thing was, when we said that we’d take questions from the audience, lots of them were for me. I couldn’t believe that, with the Captain of the farking Enterprise, the most beloved character of all time, and the coolest first officer, ever, people were asking me questions. But they did. And lots of people have been to the WWDN, which was supercool, and I got to talk about the website, which was also fun. So if you were at the Galaxy Ball yesterday, and this is your first visit to my lame site, Welcome! :)
The time really flew, and when we were done, Patrick and I were walking back to the green room to get our stuff, and Patrick turned to me, and said, “Wil, I had no idea you were so funny!” He turns to Brent, and says, “Can you believe how funny he is?” Brent agreed, and I told them that that really touched me, and I had such a great time being on stage with them. Patrick told me that he was very excited when he heard that I was going to be there, because he thought I’d just vanished in the last few years.
You know, back when we were doing the shows, I always wanted to be as good an actor as Patrick, as funny as Brent, and as cool as Jonathan. So I’m getting closer to that. :)

Karma Whore

Karma Whore

Slashdot is doing “Ask Tick creator Ben Edlund anything…”.
So I posted this question, which I think is funny, and I wanted to share it with you, my loyal monkey armada. :)

Loss

Loss

wilauntval (86k image)

My Aunt Val had a stroke on Monday, and she died around 1030 this morning.
I was just going to keep this to myself, but I want everyone in the world to know what an amazing, wonderful, loving, kind, thoughtful, selfless person she was. No person, anywhere, at any time in my life ever loved me as unconditionally as she did. She was truly the matriarch in my family, and, as the initial shock of her loss is wearing off, the growing sadness and emptiness is consuming me.
While she was struggling to survive on Tuesday, and was mostly unconscious, I held her hand, and Anne told her that it was our anniversary on Wednesday…she squeezed my hand, and when I told her that I loved her, and that I’d miss her if she had to go, she turned her head to me, and she smiled, and squeezed my hand, hard. It was the first time she’d been really responsive to us. I felt like she knew we were there, and I felt like she was telling me goodbye, and that she loved me. For that, I am eternally grateful.
Do not ever take anyone for granted, for even one minute. If there’s someone in your family who you love, pick up the phone, and call them, right now, to tell them.
I love you, Aunt Val.

The time, has come, the Walrus said…

The time, has come, the Walrus said…

Boy, having a vacation was awesome, and very much needed. If you haven’t gotten away, even if it’s only for one day, with your SO, you simply must do it.
We went up north, and visited some wineries…I can’t wait until I am successful enough to move the hell out of LA, and go someplace along the central coast, or even SF. I took some pictures, and posted them in the gallery.
Our server got borked while I was gone, because I was using a .vacation to send the autoresponse. I didn’t know that .vacation keeps a log of everything, so I filled up /var with 79MB of needless info…so, until I figure out another way to send an autoresponse, it’s gone.
I want to run a listserv, for announcements, and maybe a quarterly journal of weblog posts, and stuff…if you know of extremely easy software that I could configure and run, post it in the comments. That’d be cool.
I have some potentially MAJOR career news coming up within the next 3 to 5 days…I can’t wait to post it…!
OH! I submitted a link to Fark, and it was accepted!! Woo!!!
I noticed that nobody went to loren’s house, or posted lots of useless crap for him. I’m very sad.
I will be posting the next installment in the saga of SpongeBob Vega$ Pants very soon.
Let’s Roll!

Make Yourself

Make Yourself

I’m out. I’m gone until Thursday, on a much needed get away with my wife.
So, while I’m gone, I thought I’d leave something interesting for you to do: You can go to the Liquid Radio Players website, and listen to the shows I’ve done. Funtimes.
The two shows I’ve done so far are “The Lust of Penelope” and “The Madness of the Horror”
They are done exactly like old timey radio shows, ala The Shadow, or The Greaseman, so you’ll have to settle in, and pay close attention…but I think you’ll enjoy it.
For those of you who haven’t noticed, Soapbox is back.
I’m supposed to be in McPaper tomorrow, be sure to check it out.
RFB will be down, because my computer will be off. Why not listen to thepAvedearth? You’ll be glad you did.
Or, you could go visit loren, and post lots of comments for him. He particularly likes jokes about monkeys. Tell him I sent you.
One last thing: Did you know that Adam Curry is posting stories about all our favorite bands, and Michael Jackson? It’s true. Adam Curry was on eMpTyVee from 1987-1991, or something like that, and he’s sharing stories about the bands he got to interview or hang with. My favorite so far is the story of what a freak Jacko was. Duh.
I keep asking him to post stories about Van Halen. You should ask him to post stories about Van Halen. You should call your most estranged relative, and ask them to bug Adam to post stories about Van Halen. That’s the power of the internet to unite, and bring us more stories about Van Halen.
Play nice while I’m gone, and stay the hell off the couch.

How To Disappear Completely

How To Disappear Completely

When’s the last time you looked at your bookmark file? I mean, really looked at it, and realized that most of your bookmarks have gone unused for months?
I did that this morning. Holy crap. I had close to 40 bookmarks that I couldn’t even remember bookmarking. So, after cleaning them up, I got to thinking…I’m getting bored with my regular sites. Which is good, because I’m reading more books, seeing more of my family and seeing more sunlight.
But I had this idea: Post one link that you like, that isn’t already on this site, that hasn’t been posted by someone else. Maybe it will give all of us someplace new to look at. I’ll send the coolest one to Fark, where it won’t get posted.
I’m going out of town tomorrow until Friday, so there will be no updates to the site, and the RFB (which is up right now, btw) will be down, as well. May I suggest thepAvedearth as an alternative listen.
I’m gonna be in USAToday tomorrow or Wednesday, in the e-briefing column. Cool!
If you wanna read the EFF’s analysis of the USAPATRIOT act, it’s here. Scary.
Did you watch The Simpsons last night, after the game? I’ve never seen that one before. Brilliant!

50,000 Monkeys at 50,000 Typewriters Can't Be Wrong

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