Don’t forget your towel

Don’t forget your towel

Here are the stories I wanted to put up, yesterday, but I quit when my wife came home:
Anne bought some Pear lotion from Victoria’s Secret. I love that, because it’s what she smelled like when we were dating.
A note about my family, and specifically my wife: I was telling her about my website, and about how cool I think it is that people are coming here, commenting on my lame little ramblings, and stuff, and she said, “This kind of scares me.”
“What kind of scares you?”
“Well, letting people know so much about you. So much about us. I worry that people may think they know you really well, and try to invade our privacy. I don’t want to worry about that. I certainly don’t want to be worried about the kids, either.”
I thought long and hard about that. I want to strike a balance, between giving the world a view of my life without any media filters, and expecting the world to respect the my personal privacy, and the privacy of my wife and step-children. Honestly, I never really thought that this site would become as popular as it has. And I don’t know if it will stay as visited as it is right now…either way, I plan to keep on writing, because I gather that people like reading what I have to say, and, honestly, it’s very cathartic for me, and I really do like to tell stories.
So here’s the deal (boy, I say that a LOT): I’m not posting pictures of the kids.
I’m not posting lots of pictures of me and Anne (even though she did come and kiss me on the webcam last night…that was cool), and there are certain areas of my life that are just off limits.
My first priority in my life is my wife and step-kids. Period. So I hope that’s cool with whomever becomes a regular reader.
Boy, I sound really stern there, huh? I guess if I was talking, it would be in my “dad voice”. Heh.
More from yesterday: I was sent the coolest jpeg ever by some really cool kids. It really made me smile, a LOT.
I also was sent a link for a campaign to Free TVs Wil Wheaton. It is HELLA funny.
Hella.
Hella.
Hella.
I am clearly defining my use of “hella” as sarcastic, and ironic, for the tiny-brained. You know who you are.
It is my understanding that one of the very cool people at 1142.org made it. And I would like to take this time to say, “Thanks, dude. This is way cool, and it really made my day!”
Finally, last night, Ryan and Nolan were watching TV while I was in the kitchen. I walked out to see what they were watching, and it was Stand By Me, on Channel 5. I thought that was so cool. I mean, they’ve seen it before, and all, but to see them watching it on their own made me feel really cool. :)
I walked into our family room, and Nolan says, “Look, Wil! You’re on TV!” and Ryan says, “Look! There you are!” Pause. “Why did you just faint?”
Kids rule. They just. Freaking. Rule.

Turn on the Frustration

Turn on the frustration

Boy. What a day. I have so much to talk about, I don’t even know where to begin.
What a horrible way to start off an entry. Mrs. Lee was right, I guess.
So here’s the deal: My cats, Biko and Sketch, are totally indoor cats. I never got over the loss of my cat, Rita (who was a boy, but we thought he was a girl, so we named him after my Voice Over agent, who gave him to me), which was totally my fault when I was like 10 or 11. So when I got my 2 cats, I decided that they would only be indoor cats, so I wouldn’t have to worry about them getting lost, or killed, or subjected to any of the horrors that outdoor cats surely face. Now, as someone recently pointed out, dogs have masters, and cats have staff, (I file that under “I wish I’d thought of that”) the cats are CONSTANTLY trying to get outside, and sometimes they make it a few feet, and I catch them…well, tonight, while I was doing the J. Keith vanStraaten Show (I have pictures!! I’ll put them up later), Biko and Sketch got out. Anne found Sketch in about 30 minutes, but Biko has been out for close to 3 hours, and it’s after midnight, and I’m really, really worried about him. He’s small, he has a heart condition, and I worry that he can’t defend himself from the big, mean, feral cats who roam my neighborhood. So if you could spare a thought for him, until he comes back, I’d appreciate it.
I am going to finish the entry I started tomorrow, but I’m going to go out of order, because what happened today is more on my immediate mind, and I’m gonna tell you about that, first.
This morning, I was supposed to have a dentist appointment, but I messed up the time (which I do quite often). I thought it was at 3:15, but it was at 9:30 AM. How I got that messed up, I’ll never know, but when I went to check it in my Palm Pilot, the damn thing wouldn’t turn on. Luckily, I have everything backed up on the computer (which is currently named HAL-9000, but that’s not all that cool…I was thinking maybe changing the name to “Marvin”), but the dentist entry wasn’t there. Odd. So here’s the thing: I bought my Palm pilot at Best Buy, because the price was right, and they have this great service/replacement plan…or so I thought. (I just went out to look for Biko…note to self: My next door neighbor has a really cool backyard, with a pool. She’s like 1000, so I gotta ask her if we can swim sometime).
Back to my Best Buy ni/*.phpare: When I bought my Palm Pilot, they tried to sell me this service plan thing, and the Palm cost close to 200 bucks (150 after rebate, thank you very much), and spending 35 dollars on a service plan seemed stupid to me, all things considered. But the guy did something that’s very hard to do to Wil: he sold it to me. He told me that if anything went wrong…that’s an important word, anything, because we’ll find out in a minute that anything really means something on a very short list…if anything went wrong, I could bring it in, and they’d either fix it, or replace it, right then and there, and I’d be out in under 30 minutes. This is also important to remember, because we’ll son find out that by 30 minutes, he really meant over an hour. I asked him, specifically, will I need my receipt? No. Will I need my original packaging? No. What if I lose this little service plan pamphlet thingy? No problem, Mr. Wheaton, we’ll look it up in the computer.
Can you guess where I’m going with this?
I get there this morning, at 11. I have to meet my friend Travis at the ACME, because we’re rehearsing for the sketch show at the huge Trek convention in Vegas next week. So I call Travis at 1045, and tell him that I’ll be there closer to 1130. Oh, how wrong I was.
I get to Worst Buy (gee, you think I’m the first person to come up with that?) at 11. I wait in the three person line for close to 15 minutes, because they’ve got one person working on returns. “Boy” I think to myself, “the 30 minutes must account for 15 minutes in line! These kids can bang it out!” Wrong again. Little did I know that the 15 minutes spent in line would be the only non-enraging minutes for the next hour.
I explained my problem to the apparently helpful Best Buy Customer Service Drone. She looked at me, looked at my dead Palm pilot, and said, “Okay, do you have your receipt?”
What? Did I have my receipt? I don’t need a receipt, I told her, confidently, everything you need it in your computer.
Okay, here’s another tangent. Sorry, I know this breaks up the flow, but it just happened: My phone rang. Not a big deal, right? Well, it’s 1AM here, so that is a big deal. The phone rings this time, and I think “Oh shit. Something’s bad.” Matter of fact, I used to pick up the phone in the middle of the night, and say, “Someone better be dead!” Until someone really was. One of my best friends had hung himself. So now I answer the phone, “Hope you won the lottery!”…anyway, I said, “Hello?” and the voice on the other end says, “[long pause] Is Joe there?”
“No, there’s not Joe here.”
“Who is this?” comes the reply.
I immediately think, “Great. Some fuckwad has gotten my home number, and is fucking with me, and now I have to change my numbers, blah blah, blah…” So I put on my “dad” voice, and I say, “This had better be a wrong number.”
And the voice (who I’ve pegged as about 17 or so) says, “You know what? You’re a fag.”
I am stunned into silence, at the genius currently coursing across the phone wires, but only briefly. I’m still pretty sure this is some jackass trying to mess with The Kid From TV (yes, it still happens. Jocks never grow up, apparently), so I say, “Okay, genius. I have you on my caller ID, and my next call is to the police.”
So I called the police, just to make a record, in case this was some phone calling equivalent of a skRip+ K!|>|>i3, and they sent a guy out here, because I live in a tiny town where nothing ever happens, and he just left.
End of tangent.
We now retun you to: “My Best Buy ni/*.phpare”, already in progress.
What? Did I have my receipt? I don’t need a receipt, I told her, confidently, everything you need is in your computer.
She looked at me, blankly, tapped a few keys, and told me that they didn’t have anything about my Palm in there. They had my wife’s camera, but nothing about my Palm.
Great. Here beginneth the ni/*.phpare.
I’m just gonna cut to the chase, because it’s REALLY not worth rehashing, blow by blow, and it’s late and I’m tired, and I have to get up at 7, so we can take Nolan to the beach for his birthday.
Here are the highlights:
They told me there was nothing they could do without a receipt. I told them that when I bought the service plan, I was told that everything would be in the com–dammit. Ferris just laid at my feet, and farted. Jesus Christ I hate that- I was told that everything would be in the computer, and I wouldn’t need it. At first, I was calm. I stayed calm, but forceful, you understand, as I climbed the chain of managers and supervisors, each as useless as the last.
Here was their first solution: I could get a
I would go get a Palm IIIxe from the Palm section. I would bring it back, and I give them the box with all the accessories, and I’d get the actual Palm unit, itself. This was honoring the service plan I’d bought, so it sounded okay to me, until I found out that I was going to be charged a “restocking fee”. Well, I was not about to pay a “restocking fee”, since I was mislead by the guy who sold me the service plan, and since I had already given them a lot of my money, and a lot of my time. After much gnashing of teeth, and wringing of hands, they agreed to waive the restocking fee. I think it may have had something to do with me saying, “Best Buy is a billion dollar company. My wife and I spend quite a bit of money here, annually. I am willing to walk out of here, right now, without anything, and take all my business elsewhere. That’s my TV-buying business, my CD-buying business, my game-buying business, and my DVD-buying business. You’re willing to lose all that, over a $20 restocking fee?” (see, it wasn’t about the money. It was about the principle. I’m sure a lot of you understand.)
So they tell me to go get the IIIxe, and bring it back, and we’ll do the switch, without the restocking fee.
NIKE! (That’s Greek for “Victory!”, and American for “Sweatshop!”)
I ran like phidipidies to the Palm counter, and asked for a IIIxe, so I could be on my way.
Small problem: Best Buy doesn’t carry the IIIxe any more. They carry the IIIc, which is nearly 150 dollars more, and way more Palm Pilot than I need.
So I head back to the most innappropriately named “customer service” counter that ever was, and explain the lack of IIIxe’s. Which sets me right back to square one. The woman who is “helping” me gleefully informs me that there’s nothing else that she can do for me.
So I did what we in acting call “making a choice”. I made the choice to become the hysterical, angy, irrational man who they really wanted to just get the F out of Best Buy. I ranted. I raved. I drooled.
And I finally talked to a manager who could do something for me. She explained that there was a mess up in the computer, and that wasn’t my fault (duh) she said that I had 2 options: Go home and search for the receipt (which I am certain I’ve lost. I can never keep receipts. If I put them all in a magic bag of receipt-holding, even that vanishes), or, I can take the $149.00 that they show my IIIxe being currently worth, and I can apply that towards an “upgrade”, if I’d like.
I’ve been thinking about getting a Visor.
So I finally spent an extra 40 bucks, and got the Visor. Now, wy any one of the parade of managers I’d dealt with before that couldn’t tell me that is beyond me. Like Columbo was so fond of saying, “Maybe I’m a little stupid here…”
I feel like I gave in, a little bit, because a few years ago, I would have walked out of there without anything, and fought them until I got exactly what I wanted. But Travis was waiting, and I knew that I would be able to spin my tale here, and let everyone know what we’ve all known, all along: big corporate behemoths like Best Buy suck. I’d encourage anyone who reads this to take your money, and your business, elsewhere. Anywhere. A mom and pop store would be the best, but, after that, maybe a place like 800.com, or something. Just keep your money, and your business away from Big Brother Best Buy. That’s today’s call to action, such as it is.
Next: Rehearsal, and the “Rrrreally big shew!”

Don’t Panic

Don’t Panic

I’m listening to Coldplay right now. Earlier today, I was listening to Tool, and some Charlie Parker. Does that strike anyone else as a bit incongruous? Speaking of Coldplay, who else thinks that they sound a LOT like Travis, and the first time you heard “Yellow”, you thought, “Boy, Dave Matthews sure has changed his sound.”
Woah…I just went to the Coldplay website, to make sure the link was correct, and their font is “Albertus”, the same font that was used on my favorite tv show of all time, The Prisoner. Matter of fact, it was my fanatical love of The Prisoner that allowed me to understand why anyone would want to wear a spacesuit and go to a convention. Because I used to have a lame little Number 6 pin, and I would wear it to game cons, back in the day.
Oh, that reminds me of this one time I went to a huge game con, and some guy was selling “Put Wesley In The Airlock” buttons. I went up to his table, and he saw me coming, and tried to hide them, but I got there too fast, and I took one. While I was looking at it, I could see the huge drops of sweat falling off his Hutt-like visage, and I asked him, “How much?” He told me 2.50, or something like that, so I bought it, and wore it on my Batman tshirt the rest of the day. That was cool.
Anyway, about Coldplay: I really like this CD. It gives me the same feeling that Hatful of Hollow or The Queen Is Dead did, when I was in ^H^H suffering through high school: it’s soothing, but also kinda of melancholy, but not in a depressing sort of way. The song “Don’t Panic” is really wonderful. I wonder if they’re fans of Arthur Dent & Co?
Enough stream of consciousness ramblings. I wanted to write about a few things that happened today.
I shot some promos for TNN today, for this huge TNG marathon they’re doing when they launch TNG on TNN (I love that; it’s like NBA on NBC, but without the sex scandals, drugs, and fatherless children all over the freaking country). It was REALLY fun. Promos are those things where you see someone say, “Hi! I’m Gary Coleman, and you’re watching the Hour of Yaks, right here on UHF channel 67, Baton Rouge!” They can be REALLY lame, but I always have fun with them. I get the copy, which is usually something like, “Hi, I’m ___, and you’re watching Star Trek: The Next Generation, on Time Warner Cable.” So when I do it, to amuse myself, I say, “Hi! I’m former UN Secretary General Boutros Butros Gali…” and “Hi! I’m the ghost of former Phillipine dictator Ferdinand Marcos…” or whatever. Hey, it makes me laugh, and then when I do the REAL promo, I’m smiling, and people see me all happy on TV, which is good.
So I’m hosting this 5 day marathon, where they’re going to show the “best” episodes of TNG, as decided by the fans, and stuff.
Okay, I gotta stop here, and give a bit of perspective. I thought I’d open up the old IM, since I’m sitting here, anyways, and I’ve spent the last…well, however long it is running Parachutes twice on the CD player, just answering IM’s. I really didn’t think that many people would be interested. I really didnt. I know that sounds like “Singles” where the guy says, “Everyone here has a thing” and the girl says, “I think your thing is that you don’t have a thing.” I’m really not trying to have any false modesty here, or not have a thing…it just surprises me, that’s all. So I open up the IM, and I get over 50 IMs. And I want to reply, you know, and then I get sucked into all these conversations, because these people are pretty cool and making me laugh (Katie) and sending me silly stuff (soma dawling)…and next thing I know, it’s almost midnight, and I haven’t even gotten close to finishing the stories I want to tell for today.
Boy, I am really rambling tonight. Oh well. Deal.
So TNN is doing this marathon, and they’re having 5 of us host 5 days of it, doing things like “I’m Wil, and you’re watching the Five Day Mission on TNN!” and stuff. And I’m shooting the “stay tuned” things, and that sort of thing, and I remembered just how much fun I had when I was doing that show. Now, I know that most people really didn’t like the whole Wesley thing, and there were lots of times when the writing REALLY pissed me off, but, over all, it really WAS a good time. And sometimes I miss it.
Okay, nearly 2 hours have passed between the last paragraph, and this one, because Anne came home, and I haven’t seen her all day, so we sat at the table and talked, while we waited for the bread I was baking to finish. I swear, there is nothing like the smell of bread baking in your house to make everything right with the world, you know?
Now I’m listening to the soundtrack from Almost Famous, and I am a sucker for “Tiny Dancer” (I was long before the movie, though, so gimmie a break, okay? Why do I bring up Tiny dancer, well, because I want nothing more in this world than to go get into bed next to my wife, and hold her hand while I drift off to sleep.
I have LOTS of cool stuff to talk about from today, but I’m gonna write it up tomorrow. So you can comment on this entry,or wait until the next one. It’s up to you.
G’night.

Romper Stomper

Romper Stomper

From an Email I got this morning:

Wil:
I’m writing a book about Romper Room and came across a TV appearance of you on a California show with Miss Nancy. You told the hosts you used to watch Romper Room “religiously.”
I’m writing to people who were on the show, or who watched the show, to get their impressions of Romper Room. I’m hoping you can answer some questions. What made you watch it? What’s your strongest memory of the program? Were you ever on Romper Room?

My response:
I was never on “Romper Room”, but here is my clearest memory, from watching it as a kid:
I would sit on the floor of our house (which was really a chicken coop behind my grand parent’s farmhouse. Yes, we were that poor), my fingers dug deeply into the golden shag carpeting, my tiny fists balled with anticipation, as Miss Nancy would hold up her magic mirror, and ask it to tell her, today, “did our friends have fun at play?” I would sit up straight, stare into the glorious black and white 13-inch Zenith TV, and wait patiently as she saw Steven, and Jody, and Tina, and Todd, and Michael, and every-fucking-body except WIL! Hey! Miss Nancy! I’m sitting right here! I’ve had LOTS of fun at play! I did the DooBee dance! I ran around pretending I was a fireman! I HAD FUN AT PLAY! WHY CAN’T YOU SEE ME?! AM I INVISIBLE?! *pant* *pant*
I never watched tv shows like the ones I did when I was 4. Jesus, does anyone?

Save Ferris

Save Ferris

I’m listening to Cake right now. Have you noticed that Cake is one of those bands that evokes a visceral reaction in people? I mean, they either really, really love it, or they really, really hate it. I dunno, maybe it’s just me.
Here’s the story of Ferris:
My wife is the coolest, ever. You know that stupid corny hallmark-card thing about someone making you want to be a better person? Well, sorry, I like to be anti and all Emo and shit, but it’s true. I love my wife more than anything, and she really does make me want to be a better person. I could gush about her for pages here, but I’m not gonna. I am going to exercise restraint.
Oh, fuck that. I knew from the moment that I saw Anne that I would marry her. Isn’t that weird? Has that ever happened to someone who wasn’t in some godawful Nora Ephron movie? And the way we met…it was all timing. My best girlfriend, Stephanie, worked with Anne for YEARS, but she never introduced us…I mean, she even babysat Anne’s kids, at MY PARENT’S HOUSE when we were younger, and she never introduced me to Anne…because, when we look back at stuff, the timing was just all wrong. We weren’t ready to meet each other. But when we did, it was bootylicious.
Anne is beautiful. I mean, she is fucking hella rad.
Hella.
Hella.
Hella.
I always joke that when we are out, people look at us and complain that there’s another hot babe with a geek. I say that I am Bob Goldthwait to her Nikki Cox, David Copperfield to her Claudia Schiffer, Sigfried to her Roy…I truly adore my wife, and that’s all I have to say about that.
One of the things I adore about her is how she has what Soul Coughing called “Boundless Love”. Anne works every day, takes her kids to school, picks them up, deals with their dad, and still has time to make me feel like I’m important in her life.
We have this fake dog poop that someone gave us a long time ago, and we have the game that we play, where we try to put the poop in each other’s stuff. Recently, I stuck it in the toe of her shoe, which was in her suitcase. She found it when she put her shoe on in Vegas. She put it in the exact middle of my bed, under the sheets, and it scared the hell out of me when I jumped into bed around 230 or something last week. My point is, my wife is cool, okay? Yesterday, when I was sobbing like a little bitch in our bedroom, she came in, sat next to me, put her arm around me, and just sat there, loving me. I could feel it. Then she gave me Kleenex, and told me that she’d leave me alone until I felt better.
So you need to know that to understand the story of Ferris.
Anne is a sucker for hard-luck cases, especially animals. One time a few years ago, she almost got hit on the freeway, because she saw a kitten running in the slow lane…so she stopped her car right there and got out to save the kitten, but it got hit by a car just before Anne could get to it, and Anne sat on the freeway, holding the kitten while it died in her hands.
She was fucked up about it for months.
So about 18 months ago, she and I are on our patio, and we hear this meowing coming from our garage. We both thought it was one of my cats, Biko or Sketch, (who are both inside cats, but occasionally get out), so we went to look…and out comes this skinny black cat with no tail. Anne immediately falls in love with him, and she takes him to the vet, to get him healthy again, while I make the “Found Cat” posters. Long story short: We thought he was going to die, the vet said he was just dehydrated, we got him shots, and Anne named him “Felix”. He has lived with us ever since, and he is one ot the coolest cats, ever.
Shortly after Felix came to live with us, a woman Anne works with told us about this guide dog she trained, who was also named Felix. She told us that Felix works for a guy up in Canada (and you can’t spell “runaway production” without Canada!), and Felix had been hit by a car, and they weren’t sure if he would be able to work as a guide dog any more. I guess when a service dog has to be retired, they give the person who trained that animal the right of first refusal as a place to live out their life, but Rita (Anne’s friend) lives in an apartment with her husband and young son. Not the best place for a 90 pound lab. So Rita asked her if Felix could come to live with us, and of course Anne said “yes”. Long story short: Felix was okay, and he’s still working with his guy in Canada. Which is great, because I can only imagine what the bond between service dog and owner must be like. I would just speculate that it’s similar to parent-child, and I always hoped that Felix would be able to stay with his guy. In the process of waiting to see if Felix would come live with us, we got on a list for guide dogs who flunk their final exam, because we have wanted a dog for AGES, and we thought that would be the best way to get one.
We are ADAMANTLY opposed to pet stores selling dogs and cats, by the way /soapbox.
Anyway, cut to Memorial day this year. We have no dog. Anne is taking the kids to Home Depot, so they can buy the materials necessary to make a grind rail (they’re all about the short boards. I’m all about the long boards. It makes for an interesting dynamic when we skate).
Funny aside: Ryan (12) and Nolan (10) were talking about how excited they were to get a grind rail, which they kept calling a “pole”. Nolan says to Ryan, “We TOTALLY have to get some grinding wax, Ryan!” Ryan replies, “Yeah, so we can wax our pole!”
Okay, so they’re leaving the Home Depot, and instead of going to the Left, to get back to the freeway like they always do, Anne goes right, and passes this bus stop, where this tiny little dog is chewing on a t-shirt. Anne says that she felt compelled to stop and save her. So she did. As soon as she got out of the car, the dog ran into some Oleander bushes, and Anne spent close to 30 minutes getting her out, and took her to an Emergency vet, for some shots and to get the ticks out of her ears.
So Anne brings home this skinny, 27 pound, depressed little dog, and, I must be totally honest, I was pissed. I was so mad that she had made this huge decision to take on the responsibility of a dog without consulting me. I mean, we have enough responsibilities already, you know? We really had it out. There was much gnashing of teeth, and Sir Robin soiled his armor. We finally agreed to keep her for a few days, and see how she was, and if she wasn’t any better, we’d take her to a shelte where they don’t euthanize the animals.
Well, she was terrified of me. She had CLEARLY been abused by a man, and she was terrified of men. “Great,” I thought, “I’m going to be responsible for a dog who never lets me pet her. Terriffic.”
And for the first 12 hours–wait, I know I’m not supposed to start a sentence with a conjunction. But I can’t spell for shit, so why are you complaining now? Jeeze. Get off my back, Mrs. Lee [9th grade english teacher who flunked me because she said I couldn't write. I win.]–for the first 12 hours, she sat by the side door, never moving, never eating, just looking depressed. But somehow, my amazing wife loved this dog enough, and totally turned her around. Within 12 hours she was wagging her entire body, eating, chasing a tennis ball, and generally acting like a dog. And she let me pet her, and started following me everywhere around our house.
So we decided to keep her. But she needed a name…and that was very important. I wanted to give her a name from Mythology…”Athena” or “Psyche” or something. I know, lame. Deal. The kids wanted to name her “Haley”, which didn’t work for me at ALL, because in high school I had the most painful crush on a girl named Haley…so we decided that we’d try on different names for a few days, and the right one would reveal itself to us.
Anne comes home from work the next day, comes in the door, looks at me and says, “Ferris.”
“Bueller?”
“Sort of. Save Ferris!”
Okay, there is this band from OC that we LOVE called Save Ferris. They play with our friends fairview a lot. They rule.
Anne says, “Get it? Save Ferris. I totally saved Ferris!”
I looked at the dog, looked at her sweet, marble eyes and soft little puppy-fuzzy-head, and it was perfect. Not surprising, considering that it came from my wife.
So her name is “Ferris”.
Isn’t that a cool story?
Anyone?
Anyone?
Bueller?
Bueller?

Mostly Harmless

Mostly Harmless

I can never think of clever, funny, or thoughtful titles for my entries. That bothers me. But then I think of New Order, one of my favorite bands from my youth…not a single one of their song titles had anything to do with the actual songs…”Blue Monday”…”Everything’s Gone Green”…? So I think it takes some of the pressure off of me…which makes me think of something I realized about myself recently: I’m always in competition with myself…You know how you tell kids, “don’t be so competitive with each other”? Well, I tell my step-kids that all the time…sometimes it is just not that important who wins at Yahtzee…sometimes…
Anyway, I was thinking, (bad idea), and it hit me: I am in a state of constant competition, with myself. It is impossible for me to be happy with anything I’ve done, and I always work hard to best my last effort…so being in a movie like Stand By Me when I’m 12 isn’t exactly the best place to start…I’ve been trying to best that one for years. Somehow I think “The Curse” just didn’t quite do it, do you?
I bring this competition thing up because tonight I rehearsed with my sketch comedy group for this big show we’re doing at the huge Vegas 30th anniversary of Star Trek convention. I pulled together some of the best sketch comedians I know, who are also great improvisers, to do this show. I’m really excited about it, because the Star Trek fans are going to see something that they really don’t expect.
So we’re working on it tonight, at the ACME theatre, where I just finished a wonderful sketch show, that was really fun, and VERY well reviewed, if I say so myself, and I got to thinking about how hard I worked to get my funny in order for the show I did there, and the funny that I couldn’t get together for the newest show (I’m not in it). And I realized something, I have to stop competing with myself, because either way, I’m not going to win…I mean, how do you beat yourself? (Well, other than the obvious, impure-thoughts way that seems to be so popular on the internet) Isn’t there a movie where the hero can’t fight the villian, because they’re really the same person, and each knows what the other will do at any given time? Not Face/Off. I mean a good movie. If it wasn’t, then someone should write one, dammit. And I want a free T-shirt from it. And I want to be invited to the premiere, but I won’t show up. I’ll be drunk at some skeevy bar around the corner…that’d be cool.
Sorry, I digress. I do that a lot.
Today, Anne and I cleaned out our entire kitchen. Top to bottom. Holy shit, the junk we’ve accumulated over the past year is staggering. Even more staggering were the hundreds of those icky meal-bugs that like to get into your flour and hang out. Gross. After we cleaned it out, I was standing in the kitchen, and the whole place just felt better…now stay with me here, because I know this sounds lame, but swear I could feel the energy just flowing better in there, you know? Like I’d cleaned out the place, so the Chi could flow more smoothly…or maybe I’d just left the gas on in the oven. I’m not sure.
Tonight, I rehearsed the show, and it went really well, all things considered. Like all great shows, we have not enough time, and not enough props and all that, but I think we’re going to put on a great show, a show that we can be proud of. Hey, if it works, maybe we’ll take it on the road, or something.
Oh, and if anyone cares, you can hear me on KXLU 88.9 FM here in LA, tomorrow night at 9PM PDT. Keith and I are promoting the charity J.Keith vanStraaten show that we’re doing Thursday.
Some good news, mixed in amongst the bullshit: The guy who runs Surly Heckler emailed me about my first Killoggs post, and wanted to reprint it at his site, which is really cool, because his site is REALLY funny…I hope I don’t become the butt of some cruel joke, though. And the guy who linked to me as hell offered some sort of I think apology, but I’m not sure.
I also found this really, really funny page…
and this really, really cool interview with the creator of quite possibly the greatest comic strip ever, Bloom County. I put Bloom right up there with Fox Trot and Doonesbury, next to The Far Side. I also just noticed that this dumb little site I made is currently number 1 at blogdex. I have no idea why, or what that means, but being number one on anything is really, really cool… and kinda weird. =/
And FINALLY,
I’ve gotten lots of cool emails from people since I left this afternoon. You know who you are, and you have touched me, again.
Not that way, sicko. In the good way.
Jeeze! That’s not what I meant, either. God! Damn! Get your mind out of the gutter!
Sheesh. I’m going to sleep now.
Play nice.
Wil
Oh, stories I wanna tell: The origin of “Uncle Willie” the story of Ferris, and how Anne saved me from getting eaten by a bear.

My Velouria

My Velouria

First, I have been overwhelmed with the support, the kindness, and the sheer volume of comments, and emails regarding my last entry.
I have to say “Thank you” to everyone. It’s simply amazing, how many different people, separated by distance, culture, carreer, and whatever, are feeling the same things I’m feeling. The amazing thing is, people said things to me that I’ve thought at one time or another, and forgotten…things about “risk” and things about “giving up”. I thank you, all of you, from the bottom of my heart, for opening yourselves to me, and sharing with me your advice and experiences. I’d like to post them all, in the future, and share your wisdom with the masses.
Mixed in amongst the emails was one from my mom. My mom told me that she’d read my Weblog, and that she was “proud to have given birth to a person like me”. She told me that she could feel my hurt, and that I should “be sure to cry all the tears, because the joy is waiting in the last tear.”
So that’s what I did. I went into my bedroom, sat on my bed, and this 29 year old man sobbed like an 8 year old child. Big sobs. The kind that hurt your throat. The kind that shake your body, and soak your face with tears. I cried so long, and so hard, I don’t even know what I cried about. I cried for the hurt of losing the job, and for the hurt of being attacked by idiots who don’t even know me. I cried for all the times I picked on my little brother when we were kids, and all the times I’ve sat here at my computer and let my wife go to bed alone while I worked on this site. I cried for every bad choice I’ve ever made, but mostly, I cried for myself. I cried, and when I thought I was done, I cried some more. Then, just as quickly as it started, it stopped. And I felt better.
Then I made the enormous mistake of checking my logs, so I could see where people are coming from, and thank them for linking to me and I found that some guy uses my site as “hell”. Thanks, fucker.Some dude at metafilter says “I’m too good” to join them. Yeah, I can’t wait to get into that shit. Please, can I join your little club, so you can hold me up to further villification, without ever getting to know me? Can I PLEASE spend even LESS time with my family, sitting here at this computer, so I can try to change the minds of people who are going to judge me no matter what, without EVER walking an inch in my shoes? So you didn’t like my fucking character on a fucking tv show I haven’t even worked on in ten. fucking. years. Thank you for blaming ME for the writing of a fictional character, on a fictional tv show. That makes complete sense, considering all the input the writers would take from a 15 year old kid. Have you ever bothered to ask? Did it ever occur to you that I just said the lines I was given? I’m sorry Wesley messed up your precious television show. Fortunately, there were whole seasons after I quit, without me. So you can watch them, and feel better. But don’t take it out on me. I’m just an actor, doing the best job he could with what he was given. So I worked on a TV show. So I have made a living as an actor. Big deal. I’m no better than anyone else, and I have neversaid I was, or thought I was. I am just a geek, looking for validation from his fellow geeks.
Congratulations, sir. I’m glad that your empty, pathetic existence is made whole by shitting on a person who you’ve never even met.
You know, I promised myself that I wouldn’t get into this. I promised myself that I wouldn’t get sucked in to the mire with the lowest common denominators. Well, guess what, guys? I don’t care if you’re “The Guy From TV” or if you’re “The kid from math class”. Being personally attacked hurts. It sucks. I wonder, do you spend a fifth of the time you spend dumping on me doing something constructive with your life? I certainly hope so. You people are just like the people in High School who never took the time to get to know me, and judged me before I even showed up.
Aren’t we mostly geeks here, online? Didn’t we all, at one time or another, get bullied by “the cool kids”? Don’t any of you remember what that felt like?
My mom said to me that she was amazed at how honestly I revealed my feelings. She said that I’ve always reacted in anger when I am hurt, and she didn’t think I was angry. Well, I wasn’t, but I am now.
So here’s the deal, people: You can read this, or not, and you can see the stuff at my site, or not. But if you are going to judge me, me, the person, Wil, who gets up in the middle of the night when his kids are sick, and worries about making the bills this month, and tries to find time in the day to spend with his wife, and works his ass off for auditions that are going to go to the flavor of the month, anyway, well, you can fuck all the way off. Zip up your spacesuit, and hurry to the comic shop. Your weekly supply of “Magic” cards has just come in.

A look inside my mind

A look inside

I just got this email:

You’re funny, you’re smart, you have experiences that are go from ordinary to out-of and back and again, and yet…
…most of what you talk about is your friggin’ website!
Talk about your day, what you ate for breakfast, rant and rave. But pretty please, make a separate section for the site updates,/*.phpl and greymatter coups, and the linking excitement. All of that is certainly worth keeping track of, but it doesn’t communicate much about you.

So, I think that’s a point well taken…here’s some insight into my mind, because you asked for it:
I am fighting tears today, with each passing second. Why? Because the defining characteristic of my work as an actor the past few years has been, “It came down to you and another guy, and they went the other way.” Translated, that means, “You didn’t get the job.” If I had a dollar for every time that’s happened in the past 2 years, I could retire. It always seems to come down to me and one other guy, who usually is some flavor of the month, and they always hire the other guy. And you know what I hate? I always hear, “You are the best actor we’ve seen” or something similar…yet I always seem to lose to the guy with the perfect hair and the Kirk Douglas jaw. Let this be a lesson to you aspiring actors out there: being the best actor is NEVER enough.
Well, I took some classes a long time ago, and the teacher always admonished us to not let our jobs become our life, because when we don’t work, and there are times when we won’t, we’ll freak out, because we don’t know what to do with ourselves. It’s advice I was unable to heed.
Here’s something you may not know about me: I love acting. I love working, and creating, more than anything. I love it so much, I’m willing to suffer the extended periods of unemployment, and the constant rejection, as well as the constant attacks from people who really should either try this themsleves, or shut the fuck up.
Sorry, I digress. Back to point: Since yesterday, when I got the “It’s you or another guy” phone call, I’ve been sliding deeper and deeper into depression, because if I can’t get hired by MY FUCKING FRIEND, who practically promised me the part, I don’t know what to do. I’m sorry, but I am getting so sick and tired of having a project dangled in front of me for weeks, and then having it yanked out from under me at the last second. It hurts. It hurts a LOT, and I don’t know if you can understand the depth of the hurt, unless you’re an artist or some sort. Because I think that type of rejection is really a personal one, regardless of what they say.
Put in typical, irreverent “Wilspeak” it’s like this: you get hooked up with the hottest girl (or guy, if that’s your thing), EVER. You’re all naked, and ready to go. She’s dancing around, telling you all the crazy shit she’s gonna do to you, and how she’s calling her sorority sisters over later, so you’d better stay ready. She’s just about to jump you, and she tells you to close your eyes, and get ready. The next thing you hear is the slamming of the door, and the squealing of the tires as she drives away.
(You know what I’m thinking right now? Those morons who have some primal need to hate me are going to have a field day with this one, and I almost deleted it. Well, fuck them. You wanted to know what goes on in my head, and I want to share…I think I’ll feel better when I’m done with this. I hope.)
So I felt like I was punched in the stomach. I feel hurt. This movie is going to be AMAZING. It is going to do AMAZING THINGS for the people who are in it, because Roger is an AMAZING writer and director. And I am this close to having a complete rebirth in my carreer, and it will only take one part to do that. This movie would do that for me. Roger asked me to play a junkie in this movie…if that doesn’t shatter the image people seem to have of me, and get people to stop seeing me as 12 years old or in outer space, I don’t know what will.
And this comes on the heels of some producers, for whom I suffered with the biggest asshole “director” (I put that in quotes because this guy couldn’t direct traffic on a one was street) for NO MONEY on a movie that should have been great, because the script was brilliant. But it will suck now because the asshole will ruin it in post, these producers have jerked me around for 4 months with the promise of a project which will most likely never happen now. Thak Bob I have sketch comedy shows, and late night comedy talk shows to perform in, or I’d go crazy.
There’s a chance that Roger will still cast me, and this whole entry and the awful way I’ve been feeling will be for nothing, and I’ll look back at this and laugh, and I can get back to the normal me, who is too busy making jokes to feel sad.
But you wanted to know how I was feeling, and was was going on in my mind…well, there it is.
(And I will talk about my website, because I worked hard on it, and I knew nothing about/*.phpL or CSS or ANYTHING 6 weeks ago when I started it, so I’m proud of it, such as it is. )

What an interesting morning

What an interesting morning

I’ve gotten all kinds of interesting things today…por ejemplo:
I was listed at blogdex!
Loren got it all set up, so I can reply to email directly!
I talked on IM with a cool guy, who’s been on slashdot so long his number is 231!
The guys who did “Weeeeee!”asked me for a quote and banner. I never planned on anyone giving a shit about me, so I haven’t made a banner…great. Time to learn how to make animated GIFs. (Hey, if Asia can do it, so can I!)

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

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