Monthly Archives: October 2003

Halloween Safety Tips

Smilin’ Jay (Fark audioedit master of the universe) just sent in the following Halloween Safety Tips.
Ignore them at your own peril. You have been warned.
1. When it appears that you have killed the monster, NEVER check to see if it’s really dead.
2. Never read a book of demon summoning aloud, even as a joke.
3. Do not search the basement, especially if the power has gone out.
4. If your children speak to you in Latin or any other language, which they should not know, shoot them immediately. It will save you a lot of grief in the long run.
5. When you have the benefit of numbers, never pair off and go alone.
6. Never stand in, on, or above a grave, tomb, or crypt.
7. If you’re searching for something which caused a loud noise and find out that it’s just the cat, GET THE HELL OUT!
8. If appliances start operating by themselves, do not check for short circuits; just leave NOW.
9. If you find a town which looks deserted, there’s probably a good reason for it.
10. Don’t fool with recombinant DNA technology unless you’re really sure you know what you’re doing.
11. If you’re running from the monster, expect to trip or fall down at least twice, more if you are female. Also note that, despite the fact that you are running and the monster is merely shambling along, it’s still moving fast enough to catch up with you.
12. If your companions suddenly begin to exhibit uncharacteristic behavior such as hissing, fascination for blood, glowing eyes, and so on, kill them immediately.
13. Stay away from certain geographical locations, some of which are listed here: Amityville, Elm Street, Transylvania, Nilbog, anywhere in Texas where chainsaws are sold, the Bermuda Triangle, or any small town in Maine.
14. If your car runs out of gas at night on a lonely road, do not go to the nearby deserted-looking house to phone for help. If you think that it is strange you ran out of gas because you thought you had most of a tank, shoot yourself instead. You are going to die anyway, and most likely be eaten.
15. Beware of strangers bearing tools. For example: chainsaws, staple guns, hedge trimmers, electric carving knives, combines, lawnmowers, butane torches, soldering irons, or band saws.
16. If you find that your house is built upon a cemetery, now is the time to move in with the in-laws.
17. Dress appropriately. When investigating a noise downstairs in an old house, women should not wear a flimsy negligee. And, please, carry a flashlight, not a candle.
Happy Halloween, everybody!

who do you want to be?

It must be 5:30, because Ferris is hitting my leg, and wagging her tail like crazy. I stop typing and look down at her.
Wag, wag, wag, wag, wag.
“Is it time to . . .”
She hits me with her paw. Her eyes are wide. Wag, wag, wag, wag.
“Are you ready for . . .”
Riley races into the room, and jumps up. She lands with both paws on my lap. Ferris growls at her to get down.
“Thank you, Ferris.”
Wag, wag, wag, wag, wag, wag, wag.
“Are you girls hungry? Are you ready for dinner?”
I said the magic word. Both dogs explode ahead of me, and tear across the living room. By the time they make it to the kitchen, Riley is running so fast she can’t stop on the smooth floor and crashes into the wall. Ferris stops right next to her dish.
“What’s that, Ferris?”
She looks at her dish, then at me. Riley picks herself up off the floor and stands next to me.
“Ferris? What do you want?”
I absolutely love this nightly ritual. I love the way Ferris finds me at about five o’clock, and reminds me, in her little (maybe not so little, at 72 pounds) dog way that it’s almost time to eat. I love asking her questions, and watching her grow increasingly excited when I say words she recognizes, like “hungry” and “five thirty” and
“Do you want your dinner?”
She is wagging her tail so hard now, her hips are rocking her whole body back and forth. She kicks her dish halfway across the floor. Riley barks at me.
“Okay! Okay!”
I pick up their dishes, and dump in their food.
My cell phone plays “Ode to Joy,” and I remember that I wanted to pay 1.99 for a cool ring tone.
I flip it open, and try not to notice the obvious relation to an Original Series communicator.
“Hey Wil, it’s Jed and John from VH-1.” They’re on speaker phone.
My heart leaps. I’ve been waiting for this phone call.
“Oh, hi, Jed. What’s up?” I’m pretty sure I’ve successfully played the first line cool.
“Do you have a moment to talk?”
Do I?!
“Sure. I’m just feeding my dogs. Hold on.”
“Ferris, sit.”
She does.
She does.
I put her bowl on the floor. She obediently waits.
Ferris attacks her Nutro the way I attacked that Mean Gene burger on the weekend.
“Just a second, Jed.”
“Okay,” he says.
“Riley, sit.”
She looks at me and wags her tail.
“Riley. Sit!”
“Woah, you really are feeding your dogs!” he says.
I chuckle. “Did you think it was a euphemism?”
“Yeah, but I’m not saying what for.”
Riley sits, and I tell her to stay.
Ferris stops eating, like she does every night, and cocks an ear back toward us.
“Okay, Riley!”
Riley cocks her head to the side and barks at me.
“Riley, Okay!” I point at her dish, “You can eat now, dumbass!”
Riley looks down at her dish, and begins to eat. Ferris hears her dish scrape on the floor, and she resumes eating, too. It cracks me up that Ferris waits like that each night. I haven’t been able to determine if Ferris thinks I’m talking to her when I tell Riley to stay, or if she wants to make sure that she won’t be bothered by Riley while she’s eating, or what . . . but it’s pretty funny to watch her stand there with her mouth in her bowl, as she just listens to us.
“Sorry about that, Jed.” I say, and walk out of the room.
“No worries,” he says, “how was your trip up North?”
Oh shit. Is he making small talk? Did he call me to tell me that they’re excited, or is he making one of those look, I’m sorry that it didn’t work out, but we still want to work with you calls that I’ve gotten so many times before?
“It was tough. Anne’s grandmother is in the first stages of Alzheimer’s, so she’s really forgetful, and so frail the wind could knock her down.”
“Oh, Jesus, man, that sucks,” says John.
“Yeah,” I say, “I’m really glad we got to go visit her, though. I don’t think she’ll know who we are next time.” I say, “but the driving part was really great. Anne and I needed a couple of days to ourselves.”
“A couple of days with just the wife is always a good thing.” Jed says.
“Yeah,” I say. “So what’s up?”
“Well, we met with the network people here,”
Time slows to a crawl. The next few words are the ones that count.
“And they want us to go ahead and do a test with you.”
I’m pretty sure my heat stops. I sit down on my couch.
“Really?” I say. Though my meeting with them last week went really well, and all signs pointed to this happening, I’ve been let down so many times before . . . I guess I just expect things to fall apart. I’m genuinely surprised that we’re going to be taking the next step.
“Yeah, they love you. When we said your name to them, they went nuts.”
I allow myself to feel a bit of excitement. I don’t know if they really went nuts or not, but they said yes, and that’s what matters.
“So what happens next?” I ask.
“We need to get our budget together, and then we’re going to do a test with you. We’ll find someone local who could be on the show, and we’ll spend a day shooting stuff.”
Mother Jesus Balls. I can’t believe this!!
I can’t contain the excitement any longer and say, “Oh my god, you guys! This is so cool!”
They seem a bit surprised when I unleash my enthusiasm.
“Oh, I’m happy that you’re excited, Wil. This is going to be a lot of fun.” I don’t know who’s talking, now. In my defense, my heart had stopped for a moment there.
“We’re going to call your manager now, and get all the details worked out, but I just wanted to tell you myself first,” Jed says, “I hope that’s okay.”
“Are you kidding me?! This is great news, you guys, and I’m really glad that you called me.”
“Okay. We’ll put some stuff together, and talk to you soon.”
“Okay! I’ll talk to you then.”
I close the phone, and don’t care if I look like Captain Kirk or not.
Well, I run my hand through my hair, just to be sure.
I let out a loud, “Whooop!!” and jump up off the couch. “Thank you Fark! Thank you WWdN! Thank you! Thank you! Thank yyyooouuuuu!!!!!!!111”
Ferris comes racing into the living room, head cocked, and looks at me.
“Ferris! I’m going to be on VH-1!”
Wag, wag, wag, wag, wag.

Home Again

We left Folsom at 8:30 this morning, and just got home about fifteen minutes ago.
When we got close to Gorman, we could see some smoke plumes over the mountains, and by the time we were in Santa Clarita, we were under a think blanket of smoke. (There are some camphone shots in my MoBlog)
The sun is this magnificent red ball in the sky, and the light it plays down on the city is a creepy but beautiful yellowish orange. All the grass in my neighborhood is just about glowing, it’s so green. The plumes we saw over the mountains as we came down the 5 were nothing short of majestic. I feel like it’s awful to praise the beauty that comes with the destruction, but I can’t ignore it.
I know that I’m late to the party on these fires, but it’s so immense, I couldn’t not mention it.
Some Oregon trip stuff:
I’m glad to be home, but sad that I have to leave the temporary “just us” world that Anne and I occupy when we go on a road trip. I’m happy to see the kids and the dogs again . . . but I’d like to selfishly keep Anne all to myself just a little bit longer.
As I reported in my Audioblogs, Grandma Beth is not doing well, and it breaks my heart to see 81 year-old Grandpa Joe struggling to care for her. We’re going to head back up to see them in Spring, so I hope Grandma Beth’s condition doesn’t get any worse before then.
Anne and I broke the trip up with stops in Folsom (just outside of Sacramento) at our friend’s Bed and Breakfast and Day Spa. The B&B hasn’t opened, yet, so Anne and I got to help apha test it with our two stays . . . I can’t wait to go back and get in on the beta. 😉
So now, it’s back to regular life. This week looks to be pretty busy for me, as the meetings I took last week move into their second stage. More details as they develop.

Big Day End.

I got back from LASFS about an hour or so ago. I was gonna just write about it real quick and then try to grab some sleep, but I realized I was hungry . . . so a bowl of pasta later (Yeah, that’s the way to get rid of the gut and double chin, Wil, have lots of PASTA before bed) I found myself watching “I love the 80s Strikes Back” on VH-1.
It was 1987, and I guess they talked about TNG on it, but I must have tuned in after they were done. Did anyone see it? Did they trash me? Mo Rocca and Michael Ian Black are two of the funniest people on Earth . . . but goddamn, they could burn me good if they had a mind to.
“Had a mind to?” Does anyone really talk like that? Sheesh.
So. LASFS was great. I got there about 8, and talked with them about the LosCon next month, and took some pictures for the wwdn MoBlog. This one is my favorite.
About 8:40 I went into their . . . clubhouse? Meeting place? Super-secret undisclosed location? Whatever you call it, it’s where they meet. I stood quietly in the back while they did official club stuff, and took a few more pictures with my cool cameraphone . . . and then I hit the wrong button and made it ring at about 6900 Db. Color me embarrassed. When I finally took the stage, I apologized and said, “Sorry about my cell phone ringing. I just thought I’d put some more distance between me and Wesley by showing you all how technically incompetent I am.”
It got a big laugh, so I guess it was worth it.
I talked a bit about the website, and the stuff that I’ve written since the last time I was there, and then I read from Dancing Barefoot. I picked out two sections from VegasPants: the first time I met William Shatner, and then the first time I rode the Star Trek Experience. Whenever I read from that book, I’m reminded of how much I miss those days when I was running around the Enterprise, and it makes me really sad. Tonight was no exception. I had to stop several times so I didn’t cry. There’s parts where I talk about Gene and Brent, and when I read it, I can hear their voices, and tonight, it was really hard to get through those sections.
I managed, though, and I think I did a good job. I felt really good about it when I was done . . . and I totally didn’t suck in front of my hero Larry Niven, either!
I don’t think I’m doing any more readings until LosCon, but that’s going to be a BIG one. I’m going to bring stuff from JAG and Barefoot, and some unpublished material, too. If you’re within a couple of hours of LA, it may be worth your time to come out and see me. I’ll do my best not to suck.
I’m about 6 hours away from driving up to Oregon to see Anne’s Grandmother. We’ll go to Sacramento tomorrow, then up to Oregon Saturday morning. I won’t have Internet, but I plan on sending in some AudioBlogs and MoBlogs, so check them if you’re into that sort of thing.
Have a good weekend, everybody.
Edit: I hear that comments are busted because of some stupid javascript error I don’t have time to fix. If you wanna comment on an entry, you can always click the time next to my name. That will take you to an archive page with all the comments there. And yes, we’re really running this late.

Big Day Middle

My meetings went really well. The guys I saw at VH-1 seemed very excited about me, and I ::heart:: the idea they have. I think we are “on the same page” as they say in Hollywood, and maybe something will come of it.
My second meeting went equally well, and I am now officially “attached” to a project.
About my Comic Shop Idea: Many readers pointed out, in comments to the previous entry, that it sounds just like Empire Records.
I didn’t make the Empire Records connection, which is good, because I thought that movie was the biggest bunch of sucks that ever sucked.
My idea is more about the people and their relationships. I’d just use the shop as a location, and work in some of those archetypes we’ve all come to know.
Just like Empire Records, but in a comic shop.
Well, fuck me.
In other news, I’d just like to point out that Gator is Spyware.
See you all at the LASFS tonight!
And by “all,” I really mean none. But you’ll read about it tomorrow. Or something.