Blue Sky Mining

Boy, what a day, yesterday. I sat here, all day, working on the old weblog entries, trying to get greymatter working again. I guess that when my site was on the old server, and the server kept having to be reset, because of the traffic and the load, one of the entries got massively corrupted, and was making GM spin whenever I tried to rebuild.
So, I got on the horn with Domesticat, who is currently maintaining GM, and we spent close to 4 hours tracking down this corruption, and fixing it. Thank you, Amy!! Without your help, I would have never been able to figure out the problem. I am in your debt.
Now, I have absolutely loved using GM, because without it, I don’t think that my website would be worth a damn. Well, maybe worth a damn, but not worth shit, that’s for sure. Having the ability to just login and write whatever was on my mind has been amazing, and it’s what I enjoy the most about having this website. It’s been nice that I can use blogger, but I’m afraid that blogger is going to have to start charging, because the economy is in such bad shape, especially the online economy. But I’m going to have to switch my journaling software to Moveable Type, because I think it will do all the things that I want it to do, and, more importantly, be able to handle the load that my site puts on the server. GM is amazing, but it just can’t handle the huge amount of comments we all make around here. While I was working on GM, talking to Amy, we spoke about journaling software…I realize that the vast majority of webloggers feel pretty passionate about the software they use, and loudly proclaim that anything else “sucks!”, but I would suggest this: the best journaling solution is the one that works best for you. When I was at the lame old page, Blogger worked best for me, then GM worked best for me, and now, I’m using Blogger again. Not that it’s a big deal, but it was an interesting conversation, and I thought I’d muse about it this morning.
I know what you’re thinking. I said “all day” and I’ve only accounted for 4 hours of it. Oh, here comes the fun. I followed MT’s extremely easy instructions for exporting GM entries, and importing them into MT, and everything was going beautifully, until we hit an error in one of the date headers. So I poked around for awhile, and figured out what was wrong, and I totally fixed it *beam*. So I restarted the import process, and I foolishly tried to do some other things while it was importing…I’m working on getting the soapbox back and running, so I was importing the databases, and that started to spin, then my brother wanted to try out his new netcam, so we tried to start a netmeeting, and that farkin’ netmeeting crashed my computer. 2 hours into the import. So I restarted my computer, which was an ordeal in itself, because there’s something wrong with my keyboard cable, and sometimes my system doesn’t see my keyboard. So I have to reach around back, unplug the keyboard, and plug it back in. Not that big a deal, right? Well, not unless you set yourself on fire while you do it.
That’s right. I set myself on fire. I keep this candle near my computer, because it smells good and I think the simplicity of fire balances out the complex technology of the computer…but when I leaned over the desk to mess with the cable, my shirt fell into the flame, and caught on fire. I’m sure that I looked very funny, trying to put it out. I should have remembered to “Stop, drop, and roll, Dick, roll!”
The fire extinguished, and computer restarted, I hopped onto my server and killed the runaway processes, and went into MT to restart the whole thing, and guess what? MT is corrupted now. Beautiful. I was trying to delete the entries that had been imported, so I could start over, and the goddamn thing spun, and now it’s completely borked. So I will have to do a complete re-install of MT, which I’m not going to have time to do right away. Dammit. Oh, and I can’t get the database to upload, either. I was so excited, too. The site was going to be so much closer to it’s original…uh..glory(?) The wait will have to continue…because I am about to get really busy…because I GOT A JOB!!!
That’s right. I got hired to be a host and writer for a new TV Network. It’s AWESOME. The network is called “G4″ and it’s all about video games, and the people who play them. I am so excited. I get to work with my friend Travis, and, I get paid to write! I start on Monday.
This job is going to be awesome, and the people I’m working for are just amazing. I get to play games all day long, write commentary about video game culture, and, the best part is, when I get work in a movie or series, I can take that job, and write my stuff from home, or the set!! It’s so the best of all worlds.
So, back to my day. When I realized that this wasn’t going to work, I cursed loudly at my computer and the internet, and took Ferris to the pet store for food and treats. I love to take her there, because she gets so excited when we pull into the parking lot, and I let her go to the aisle with the bones, and I let her pick out one. It’s so funny to watch her sniff around, and finally settle on one. While we were there, I learned just how strong Ferris is, because she saw something that excited her, (she has two speeds: excited and asleep) and yanked me into a huge, heavy metal bin, filled with rawhide chewies. My foot smashed against the corner, and I have a huge bruise on it…but while I was regaining my balance, I saw this sign, off to the side of the bin:

Didn’t Find What Your Looking For? Call [something, something]

Read that again. This is a printed sign, in a nationally owned pet store, (PetSmart), and it says “Your” instead of “You’re”. So, I know that it’s probably pedantic, and anyone who reads this site knows that I am not the best speller, and if you were my high school English teacher, you know that I can’t write at all…but “Your” and “You’re” are BASIC FREAKING SEVENTH GRADE ENGLISH!!! Have people really gotten this stupid? Or lazy? Or disinterested?
So I mentioned it to the cashier when I was checking out, and she looks at me, so incredibly put out that I even brought it up (which was done very politely, with a great amount of self-deprecation), and she sighs, and asks me if she should get a manager. I told her that it really wasn’t the most important thing in the world…but I just thought that it made the company look foolish.
Ferris was really ready to go at that point, so I thanked her for indulging me, and we left, got some In-n-Out on the way home, and split the evening between Tony Hawk 3 and website stuff.
All in all, it was a good day. I didn’t even have to use my AK.
I’m off to ACME for the sample class. Remember that you can come and see me tonight in the ACME show.
I’ll leave you with a Thought For Today, from The Dalai Lama:

Our planet is blessed with vast natural treasures. If we use them wisely, beginning with the elimination of militarism and war, every human being will be able to live a healthy, prosperous existence”

A Great Disturbance in the

A Great Disturbance in the Force

So I’m sure that, by now, everyone knows that George Lucas is putting the guys from *Nsync into the next Star Wars movie.
The resounding cry all over the ‘net has been something along the lines of, “Nooooooo! Bring us more Jar Jar! Bring us a whole army of Jar Jars! Put Wesley in it! Just don’t put *Nsync in there!”
Harry Knowles wrote a great piece at AICN (scroll down a few screens to read it), and there’s a discussion at FARK, and here’s my take on the whole thing, for what it’s worth:
I once met some of those ‘Nsync guys…and they were some of the nicest people I’ve ever spoken to.
They were so nice to my step-kids, who are completely nuts about them, and, even though I really don’t like their music, I have wanted them to be successful, because they seemed like nice people.
Now, putting on my cynical, “burned by Lucas in Episode 1″ cloak, I will say this: This makes perfect sense to me, and anyone who doubted Lucas’ complete disregard for the long time, older Star Wars fans, in favor of the 13 year olds who loved Jar Jar need look no further.
Also, I’ve been asked countless times by countless people to suggest some books that they can read about acting and writing. Until I make a page here all about that (a fairly major undertaking), I’ve made a list at Amazon, of the books that I always suggest to people.

Workin’ for the weekend Well,

Workin’ for the weekend

Well, it’s official. I’ll be bringing my unique brand of comedy to the ACME Comedy Theatre this Saturday night, at 8 PM.
I just got the lineup, and I’m in a bunch of REALLY funny sketches, including 2 that I wrote: “Shut Up, Wesley!” and “Cold*eze”. Both sketches were very well reviewed the last time I did them, and the other material in the show is hilarious.
So if you haven’t made plans for Saturday night, yet, why not come see the funny at the ACME theatre? You’ll be glad you did.
Oh, important note: if you’re some freaky weirdo who would have to travel a thousand miles to come here, stay home.
Unless you’re a hot 19 year old cheerleader. That’s female cheerleader, dorkus.

Sugar Free Jazz On my

Sugar Free Jazz

On my way home from getting my hair cut this afternoon, I drove right past the Rose Bowl, where a few people are watching this football game, that used to be played between the two teams with the best record…but something’s all farked up this year, I guess.
I’m sitting in some traffic, and I hear this awful, loud, angry, screaming, explosive sound, and I think that a tanker truck has crashed, or something. I start looking around to see what the source of this was, and there is this huge, firey explosion off to my right…and I realize that the noise is yet another squadron of fighter jets doing yet another fly over. The firey explosion was fire works inside the Rose Bowl.
Boy, my heart was pounding. I’m glad I don’t live near an airport.
When I got home, there was a rather strongly worded email from my friend Mark, who directed “Foreign Correspondents“. He was a little cheesed off at me for forgetting to mention that the film is now available, on DVD and VHS.
Sorry, Mark. Blame the holidays, and the F-18’s.
Lots of people have emailed, and asked when they can see ForCor, and Jane White. Well, you can get those DVD’s and VHS’s of ForCor here, and, if you live in Southern California, you can see a screening of Jane White! Information about our screenings is here.
Also, due to the overwhelming demand, I have put up a Toy Soldiers photo and the Star Trek lunch box on eBay. Have fun!

Is Chicago, Is Not Chicago

Is Chicago, Is Not Chicago

From the ever-growing list of bands I am so bummed broke up, Soul Coughing, comes today’s title. This is from the great album, “Ruby Vroom”.
I’m starting to realize that mainstream stuff just annoys me, because it all sounds alike…I think that’s why I so love bands like Cake, and Radiohead, and Soul Coughing…the Pixies…I gotta tell you, I am so upset that the most recent releases from Save Ferris and No Doubt are so “ready for radio” and pop-ish…they feel so “produced” rather than “created”, if that makes any sense…and Save Ferris is one of my favorite bands of all time. No Doubt…well, they’ve become sort of disposable to me recently, because you can’t even get within a hundred feet of them at a show for less than a hundred bucks…but you can still see SF at normal venues, and they will actually hang out and meet people after the show..Save Ferris rules. I mean, c’mon. I named my dog after the damn band!
I’m bummed that the new album is more pop-ish than their other stuff, because it feels like it’s not true to what they really are. It feels like some producer or record exec said, “Let’s make them sound more like [currently popular band]”…but if that’s what you gotta do to survive and keep workin’, hey…I am not going to cast stones at that…look no further than “Python” or “Deep Core” to see my acting-world equivalent.
Besides, the new album has “Angry Situation”, which is one of the best Save Ferris songs I’ve ever heard.
I hope they are amazingly successful, and when they get huge again, they pull a Tony Clifton and record an album of just the old stuff. :)
But that’s not what I sat down to write about today.
I want to tell you all about this great thing that I got for Christmas…and this is *so* going to sound like a lame commercial…but I just love this thing so much, I wanted to share it with the world: my mom got me the George Foreman Grill, and I’m cooking everything on it, and it rules. If you’re a college student, or you live in a one-room apartment, you gotta get one of these…it makes the most amazing burgers and chicken breasts, and it’s so easy to use, I don’t even burn anything. I made chicken breasts in it a couple of nights ago, and I used it to make sausage this morning…oh man, it rules. My consumption of grilled, marinated meats has increased 5000%. Thanks, George Foreman!

Okay, so now that I’m done with that, I really don’t have anything else to say…I just didn’t like that I hadn’t written anything in a few days, mostly because there was nothing worth writing about, except for the damn B2 bomber that flew over my house on Jan 1 at 7AM, shaking the whole damn thing and scaring the hell out of me, even though I knew it was coming. Stupid Rose Parade.
Anyway, that’s all for right now. I’m going to be updating the site pretty soon, switching to Moveable Type, and really making the concerted effort to get the old GM entries exported. I’ll also talk to Loren and Josh about bringing the Soapbox back up, and it looks like I’m going to have to completely re-install the gallery. Dammit.
OH! I almost forgot: I’m getting lots of emails asking if I’ll do another auction, so I’m going to go ahead and do that. This time I’ll be offering that cool Star Trek lunchbox, and I think I have a Wesley Crusher action figure around here, someplace. I also won another auction…get ready…it’s a VHS of “The Curse”. Yes, that’s right, I have, in my possession, a copy of one of the worst movies ever made, starring yours truly, and featuring my sister.
Pop quiz, A-hole. You’ve gotten a copy of the worst move ever. What do you do? What do you do?
Well, you offer that for an auction, too, of course. Duh.
So, that’s three things for the collectors, which I hope will make some people happy. Those should be ready in a couple of days or so.
Finally, I completely forgot to post this earlier this week: The ACME Comedy Theatre, where I teach and perform, is starting a new session of Winter Classes. This Saturday, we’re holding a sample class, where you can come out and see how we teach, and what we teach, and it’s all for free. Here’s the email that our company’s director sent out:

Subject: ACME WINTER CLASSES
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
last chance for 2002 winter session! (begins Jan. 12)
ACME COMEDY WORKSHOPS
Offering classes in improv and sketch comedy!
Become a member of the
critically-acclaimed ACME Players!
Attend this Saturday’s FREE Sample Class!
Saturday, Jan. 5 — 1 p.m. (lasts approx. 90 min.)
NOW UNDER THE DIRECTION OF M.D. SWEENEY
Study and Perform Comedy on the same stage as WAYNE BRADY, RYAN STILES,
BRAD SHERWOOD, FRED WILLARD, WIL WHEATON, ADAM CAROLLA, ALEX BORSTEIN,
UPRIGHT CITIZENS BRIGADE and many more.
Company Members who developed their writing skills at ACME include
Emmy-nominated writers of SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, writer/producers of FRIENDS,
GROUNDED FOR LIFE, Emmy-winning writer/producers of WARNER BROS. ANIMATION,
THE SIMPSONS, JUST SHOOT ME, VERONICA’S CLOSET, NORM, 3RD ROCK FROM THE SUN
and many more.
To Register or for More Info
CALL 323 525-0233
ACME COMEDY THEATRE
135 N. La Brea Av
Hollywood, CA 90036
(1/2 block south of Beverly Bl.)

I think I’m going to be in the show this Saturday night. If I am, I’ll be doing a sketch called “Shut Up, Wesley!”, that always kills. So if you’re in LA on Saturday, come and see us. The show starts at 8.
I hope everyone is enjoying the first week of the new year! I’m going to get my hair cut now.

One more thing I really

One more thing

I really thought my last post would be my last post for 2001…but I just got off the phone with my mom, and I’m gonna get on a soapbox for a second.
My dad is a perfusionist. That means that he runs a heart lung machine during open heart surgery. Basically, when someone is having their heart operated on, my dad keeps them alive, running the machine that performs the function of their heart and lungs. My dad also helped pioneer this process called ECMO, which is extended heart bypass for newborn babies who have heart defects. ECMO has saved countlless lives since they invented it, and I’m really proud of my dad, and all that he’s done.
Ever since I can remember, my dad has been on call during the holidays. Before this year, I can’t remember the last time he wasn’t, and he gets called into the hospital every Christmas. This used to bother me, because I wanted to spend the time with my dad, until I thought, when I was about 15 or so, that while I was upset that my dad was not at home, he wasn’t at home because there was some other family who was hoping that their dad, or mom, or whomever was not going to die. Perspective is important, you know.
So here’s what my mom told me: My dad got called into the hospital at 3AM, for an emergency trauma surgery. One more note: my dad is one of the best and most respected perfusionists in the world, especially in California. He’s so respected and so good, that when George Bush the first was having all his heart trouble and came to Los Angeles, my dad was hand-picked to be on standby the whole time Bush was here, just in case. If you’re going to have heart surgery, you want my dad on the open heart team, is what I’m saying.
So he’s called in at 3AM, because there is an emergency.
This man and woman had taken their son and daughter to see a movie. On the way home, they were hit by a drunk driver. Their daughter was instantly killed, and my dad was called in because their son had massive internal injuries, and I guess he needed open heart surgery. I’m not sure what happened to the parents, but I do know that the drunk driver who murdered their daughter survived without a scratch, and was fortunately caught by the police.
I want you all to listen, now, and please think about this: life can change in an instant. One moment, you’re driving along, singing with the radio, or arguing about the movie you just saw, or simply sitting in silence, and the next moment your daughter is dead. Forever. Your son is clinging to life in a hospital, and you and your wife are never giong to be able to have a Christmas or New Year’s with both of them again.
I’m sure this happens all the time, because that’s what happens in life.
But this family has been torn apart because some stupid fucker had to drink and drive.
We all know that people do it. Maybe you’ve done it once or twice, and you’ve gotten away with it.
We’ve all heard the “don’t drink and drive” message so much that it blends into the background noise of our lives…and here is my wish: please listen to it this time. Please, if you or someone you know is planning to go out and party like it’s…well, not 1999…but you get the idea…please think of this family, and think of the loss of their child, and how preventable that loss was. Please don’t drink and drive, and please stop your friends from drinking and driving.
I know this sounds like a silly PSA, but I really do mean it. Thanks for indulging me.
Have a happy new year, everyone!

2001 I can’t believe that

2001

I can’t believe that this year is already over.
I also can’t believe that I haven’t written a thing since the 27th!
Well, I’m glad I took the little break. I’ve been spending the last few days with just my family, uninterrupted by computers, TV, the phone, and all that…and it’s been really nice. If you can remove all outside distractions and just hang with your family, or your significant other, I highly suggest it.
Yesterday, we took the kids and two of their friends to this local skatepark, where Ryan tried out his new skateboard, and Nolan proved again that there is nothing he can not do, when he just tries. I swear, this kid is amazing. All he has to do is put the slightest effort into something, and it’s like he’s been doing it for years. Soccer, complicated math, baseball, Tony Hawk 3, whatever it is…Nolan is just amazing that way.
I told him that he should try to jump this table-top, and he says, “okay”, and just fearlessly goes for it. He bails, hard, three or four times, but he keeps at it, and the rest of the day, he looked like the X-Games. For reals.
I guess the lesson there is that you can do just about anything, as long as you do it fearlessly and
[complete tangent: the stealth bomber just flew over my house. for reals. crazy.]
Okay, so the lesson is, you can do anything you want to, as long as you do it fearlessly and commit to it 100%.
So that’s my lesson for the end of the year, and my wisdom for the new year.
I had so much more to say, but I would rather we all think about that, so I’ll sign off now.
Have a happy New Year, everyone, be safe, and I’ll see you all in 2002.

Roast Beast Finally recovered from

Roast Beast

Finally recovered from Christmas. I’ve never eaten so much in my life. In fact, I ate so much at all three holiday meals, I never had room for pie…until the final dinner, last night. Then I gorged myself on punkin pie.
mmmmmm pie. Mgarragghhhhhhhhh.
Anyway, I am so glad that Christmas is over. It was a very stressfull one this year. But I did something that I’ve never done before: Anne and I replaced our normal, 17 to 25 member Christmas Eve dinner with a “just the 4 of us, plus two friends” dinner. We had our friends Mykal and Kevin over, because they didn’t have anywhere to go…so we told them they could come to our “dinner of misfit toys”. It was wonderful. We didn’t have to worry about putting on certain airs for not-so-pleasant relatives who we’d rather not invite, or deal with bratty kids who ruin our carpets and chase our dog. It was just the four of us, and our two friends. I think that’s going to be the theme for every Christmas to come.
We’d told the kids that they couldn’t wake us up until at least 6:00 on Christmas morning…Nolan was standing next to our bed at 5:59! Anne told him to give us a second, and then fell back asleep. It was 6:12 on the clock when Nolan came back in, helpfully prodding Anne’s head, telling her, “Mom! I think you fell back asleep! C’mon! There’s presents!”
So we got up, and enjoyed the wonder that is children on Christmas morning. Christmas this year was very light. Anne and I haven’t worked a whole bunch this year (thank you very much, runaway production), and we had decided that we’d give gifts only to the kids, and not to each other (although I did manage to sneak her a card, and she snuck me some boxers ). It was so cool. Because it was sort of a “light” Christmas, the boys really enjoyed everything that they got. Nolan got a new CD player, Ryan got a Toy Machine skateboard, and they both got Tony Hawk 3 to share. Oh, and Anne and the boys all got me a bonsai tree and Zen meditation rock garden, which I’ve put right next to my computer, with the fountain Anne gave me last year. When I switch over to MT, I’ll post a picture of it. It’s really nice.
We all ate breakfast, where I managed to not burn the cinnamon rolls for the first time in years, and then went up to my parent’s house for more festivities. It’s always great to see my parents and siblings on Christmas. When we all get together, we’re all kids again. My brother is running around, barely able to contain himself, my sister is carefully evading the teasing of Jeremy and me, and my parents are struggling to keep order over the whole thing. I just love it. We exchanged gifts, Anne and I dropped the kids off with their dad, and awaited dinner.
I wrote about this earlier, about how badly I wanted a tradtional Christmas dinner, and how badly I had to fight for it, and it was totally worth it, even if Anne and I were falling asleep at the dinner table. We went to sleep at 9:30 that night.
On Boxing Day, we had Anne’s brother and sister-in-law over, with their friend (another misfit toy. I’m beginning to really like this idea) and my neice and nephew, who I absolutely adore. They are 3 1/2 and 2, and so wonderful. I had this conversation with my nephew:
Him: Who’s that?
Me: That’s Ferris.
Him: Who’s that?
Me: Ferris is my dog.
Him: Why?
Me: Well, we found her. Want to pet her?
Him: Why?
Me: Because I think she likes you.
Him: Why?
Me: Beacause you’re nice!
Him: I’m [his name]!
I just love the two of them, and I don’t see them nearly enough. My brother in law is coming over to help me fix some sprinklers, because nearly all of my grass is dead, and my lawns (front and back) look like Eastern Europe. I hope he brings the kids.

The One Ring

Tonight we saw “Lord of the Rings”. I’m not going to deconstruct it, because that’s been done better, elsewhere…but I am going to say, “Best. Movie. EVER!”
If Trek X is half as cool as LOTR, I’ll be happy.

Going once…SOLD!

I won an eBay auction tonight! My first! I’ll be putting more stuff up this week. I just found a Star Trek lunchbox, with the thermos, that’s got me on it! COOL!
Happy day after the day after Christmas, everyone. :)

Feliz Navidad Happy Christmas, everybody!!

Feliz Navidad

Happy Christmas, everybody!!
If you have children around, you should track Santa, and then you should tune in “A Christmas Story” on TNT.

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

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