Joy and Sorrow

Joy and Sorrow

We had my Aunt Val’s memorial service yesterday. It was really wonderful. We had it at her son’s house. The whole family gathered in his living room, and we all just shared stories and memories of her. It was the most perfect memorial service I’ve ever been to. See, I think that a service should reflect the person you’re (or yr, if you’re a hipster) remembering. I’ve been to so many funerals and memorials, where they have little or nothing to do with the memory of the deceased…and I always leave feeling cheated. But I really didn’t feel that way. All of us, just sitting in the living room, remembering how wonderful she was, and how special she made each person feel…
My mom had asked me if I wanted to say anything, and I told her that I would, but I just didn’t want to say, “Me, too.” So I looked through my bookshelf, trying to find someone else’s words that I could use to express the dichotomy within me: I feel like I should have this debilitating sadness. My Aunt Val was so important to me, that I feel like I shouldn’t be able to do anything but sob and grieve over her loss…but when I think of her, I feel happy, remembering all the cool things we did together, and what a simply amazing woman she was…the only time I’ve felt that crushing sadness was last night. I woke up in the middle of the night, with a start, thinking “Oh my god. Aunt Val is really, truly, gone.” It took me close to 2 hours to fall back asleep.
So I’m looking through my bookshelf, and all I have is Shakespeare (too flowery) and Wilde (not exactly appropriate for a memorial)…then I see, tucked in between my “Tao Te Ching” and my “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”, “The Prophet”, by Kahlil Gibran. It belonged to my Aunt Val, and she loaned it to me about 2 years ago. I remembered that it was so important to her, and I looked though it, to see if I could find something that was appropriate…and I did. I read the following, from a chapter entitled “Joy and Sorrow”:


Then a woman said, “Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow.”
And he answered:
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that hold your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

My Aunt Val was my delight.

The late, great, Bill Hicks

The late, great, Bill Hicks

Bill Hicks was one of the greatest comedians of all time. He is one of my greatest influences.
Disinfo has this great story about the man they called “the Nietzsche of comedy, the most legitimate social critic of the 1990s: a renegade messiah who tried to make people laugh, but usually ended up pissing them off, or drawing blank stares.”

Saturn Comes Back Around

Saturn Comes Back Around

So the meeting today went very, very well. I really liked the people I met with, and they seemed to really like me back. We talked about lots of different things, and they told me that I’m at the top of their list, when they are working on new projects! I was a little nervous, mostly because I was just excited, but I think I kept my cool…I only rambled a little bit, which was good, and I mostly stayed off my soapbox. :)
I am having major problems with my cable modem service, and it looks like it’s going to require a service visit, to my house, to fix it. Problem is, they’re telling me that they can’t get someone out here until the 26th! I’m currently fighting the angry customer fight with them on the phone, but I don’t know what is going to happen. So if nothing changes here for a few days, it’s because I can’t get online to do anything. I should point out that the national-level guys I’ve talked with have all been very cool and helpful, (yay tech support!). It’s the local’s who are being sort of lame.
I know that the soapbox is dead, and it’s all my fault. I was doing some work, which required accessing the database that the soapbox uses, and I borked it up. completely. So I’m working to reset it, and I’ll make sure that Josh makes me a database just for the soapbox, so it won’t happen again. I am truly sorry to everyone who lost messages and stuff.
Thank you all so much for sending the mojo. I really appreciate it. I truly believe that there is something there, when we do things like that…I think that we can do more with our thoughts than we think we can…(“You mean that space, and time, and thought aren’t all as separate as we think?”) < --name that quote, and win a teddy bear!*

Continue reading Saturn Comes Back Around

We asked for Mojo Nixon. They said, “He don’t work here!”

We asked for Mojo Nixon. They said, “He don’t work here!”

Good morning!
Remember the last time I asked for some mojo? Remember all the empty promises I made, about being best friends, and letting you ride in my mom’s car when we went to the museum of Natural History for our next field trip?
Well…the time has come, the walrus said, to make some more empty promises.
I need your mojo, and I need it between 3 and 5 PST today. I’ll even tell you what it’s for this time…”Win Ben Stein’s Money” is produced by Buena Vista Television, and BV saw all my auditions and all my tapes and stuff, and I guess they have decided to give me a chance to be funny, because their VP of development and their Director of development asked to have a “general meeting” with me today. A general meeting is where I go and talk to a casting director, or a director, or producer, or whomever, and we talk about stuff we could do together, and it usually leads to employment. (!) They’ll probably ask me what type of show I think I would like to do, and would be good for. I’m gonna tell them how much I like “The Daily Show”.
Anyway, it’s very exciting, and I’m just a little bit nervous…not because I think I’m gonna suck, but just because it’s such a huge opportunity for me and my family…so if you could spare some mojo, I’ll be your best friend, and you can ride in our car when my mom chaperones on the field trip to the Natural History museum!
Oh, did anyone see the Drew Carey show last night? It was the live, improv version…made me laugh out loud many, many times.

Wow

Wow

I am completely humbled, excited, and just a little giddy.
I don’t even know what to say…I was linked by fark, metafilter (they were much nicer this time), plastic (still not nice), and too many Trek sites to list. Chris from Slashdot (among others) emailed me to say congrats…he’d heard the news via the submissions that were flying towards /.
The really, really cool part of all this, I mean, the best part of all, is that the comments out there, for the most part, have been very positive towards me, and when they are negative, they are negative towards Wesley. That I can handle. And I bet you that it wouldn’t be like that if I didn’t have this lame little web site. So, to those of you who have given me a chance to illustrate the difference between him and me, I say “thank you!”
This has been a weird 10 days or so…the universe really likes balance, doesn’t it?

Homecoming

Homecoming

When I did Weakest Link, I stood next to LeVar. We were talking during the commercials, and I said to him that I really missed them. He said to me that I should be in the movie, especially since it’s going to be the last TNG movie. I told him that I would love to be in it, but I really thought that Berman and company really didn’t like me. He seemed surprised, and he told me that he was going to call Rick the next morning, and suggest to him that I be in the movie, at least as a cameo. I thought that would be really cool, and told him so.
Last week, on Friday, my agent called me to let me know that there was an offer from Paramount to reprise the role of Wesley Crusher in Star Trek X. We just needed to work out the details.
So we spent some time negotiating it, and –get this– Rick Berman told my agent that he was “very pleased” that I was going to be in the movie!
I am really excited about this for three reasons:
* I am going to get to work with my friends again.
* Wesley Crusher will have some real closure, finally.
* For the last 5 years, at least, everywhere I go, fans ask me if I’m going to be in a movie, and what happened to Wesley, and I can honestly say that I’m doing this for the fans, because it will be so damn cool to see all of us together again.
WHEEE!

Score!

Score!

From StarTrek.com:


LINDA PARK: The first Star Trek was not my first Star Trek. I started with Star Trek: Next Generation, and I loved it. I loved the holodeck. I loved Wesley. He was, like, my first crush, so that kind of kicked it into high gear for me. Later on I started to watch some of the earlier, Captain Kirk episodes, but for me I’ll always be a Next Generation fan. That was my first one, so I’m going to stay loyal to that one.

Cool. No word yet on when Jolene Blalock will be confessing her love, but she will…oh yes, she will.

More Cowbell

More Cowbell

I’m getting ready for bed, and Ferris is starting to bark.
So I let her into the backyard, so she can see that there’s nothing there.
I follow her into the backyard, and it is just breathtaking…the storm has moved on, so the clouds are breaking up…their bottoms are just slightly glowing with the light of the city, and I can see Saturn through a hole in them.
The rain is still dripping off the trees in my yard, and it’s cold, so my breath swirls around my head while I stand in the grass, watching Ferris secure the area.
The smell of many fireplaces hangs in the air, and I can hear the soft roar of the freeway, many miles away. Funny how the sound carries in the cold, still air.
My face is still cold as I write this…boy, I love Autumn.

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.

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

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