I packed a bag, and told my folks that I’ll be back sometime tomorrow. Got in my car, and started driving… wandered north on 91 until I hit 93, and then followed 93 South through Boston, until I ended up in Providence. I found myself on autopilot, getting off the same exit I always did, and wandering around town before ending up in the Apple Store at the mall. The mall is full of christmas shoppers, and I’m walking around thinking to myself that I’m coming slowly unraveled. It’s been the theme of the trip, really. I had Modest Mouse on for most of the trip, and kept on picking out the recurring themes of drifting and wandering and walking a hairy hairy edge on losing your mind. “The World at Large” continues to resonate strongly with me, with its followup, “Float On” a resounding mantra for me to keep in mind, that even if things end up a bit too heavy, we’ll all float on alright.

And now the update continues the next morning. Shortly after starting this post, I got a case of the shakes, and had to go find some food, fast. It’s something that happens sometimes. After eating a delicious chicken primavera (and subsequently handing my leftovers to a homeless man on the street), I climbed back into my car, and continued to drive. I’d been thinking of staying in Providence to photograph the streets late at night, but I found myself wanting to get wandering again. There’s still a lot of pent up frustration and hurt left over from the pseudo-exile that’s been imposed by the folks down there.

I ended up wandering east down 195, until I reached Cape Cod. I wandered up the Cape, until I ended up in Provincetown, at Race Point, where I stopped for the night. I wandered around the beach in the dark for a while, and then curled up in my car until morning. I was hoping to get some sunrise shots, but it was a remarkably grey dawn, with no color to speak of. Now I’m at the Rockingham Park Apple Store, again blogging. The free wireless access is truly a godsend for the itinerant blogger.

I have commitments back home tonight, and tomorrow, and again on the 21st. It’s probably for the best that I do. Otherwise, I don’t know where I’d stop.

It’s December Again

I have, for all intensive purposes, disappeared for the past month, notwithstanding a one liner expounding the virtues of my dog. I’m not sure who exactly is interested in what’s been going on, but I figure it’s time to get back into the swing of things nevertheless. When we last left our adventures, our intrepid explorer was about to embark on a trip southward… well, that happened. I sauntered down to Silver Spring, where I spent a few days crashing with my brother and our friend Shane, and seeing several people in the DC area. Missed Hawk, missed Katy, managed to catch up (briefly) with Scott, Kevin, Andrea, Kyle, and Elizabeth, and in general had a good time. After that, I meandered further south down to Colonial Williamsburg, VA, where I spent Thanksgiving weekend with my friend Claire and her family, who were all simply fantastic. I had a really good time wandering around them, and getting to spend time with Claire was, well, like rain in the desert: cherished and far too rare. To any of you who happen to read this: thank you for letting me tag along.

My plans to continue southward were modified a bit, and I ended up heading back north after the weekend. I spent the week at home, and for the life of me, I can’t remember anything in particular about it, which is kind of unfortunate — anyone who has talked with me for more than 20 minutes knows how much I recount little esoteric minutiae, so having gaps kind of annoys me. I do know that the week was mostly in anticipation and planning for heading south again, this time down to South Carolina with Mike, Uri, and Kyle, to attend our friend Mariah’s graduation from Basic. Perhaps it seems a little odd to drive 2000 miles for essentially 2 hours of hanging out and a 45 minute ceremony, but the point was to show our support, and get out of the area for a while at the same time, so all in all, I’d say it was well worth it.

As ever, I drove the whole way. We had several very capable drivers in the car, they even offered, but I didn’t really ever feel ready to relinquish the wheel… I enjoy the act of driving and travel too much, I suppose. Which sort of segues into my next tidbit of information: I’ll likely be moving back to Seattle sometime in early January. I don’t know precisely when, but my current idea is to leave towards the end of the first week or beginning of the second. I still don’t have a job, nor have I lined up a place to live, but sometimes a leap of faith is necessary for progress to be made.

I say that it’s “likely” because there’s another idea that I’m working on at the moment. Without getting into too many details, I’m approaching a few schools that I think would benefit from it about designing a game design major for them. The first one I’m approaching is RISD, because I feel it’s the most obvious choice, and would benefit most directly from offering such a program. If they shoot it down, I have a few others I’m considering (including home turf, Dartmouth). There are a variety of reasons I’m looking into this, a lot of which stems from feeling confident that I could put together a strong game design curriculum that would make it genuinely competitive with other programs out there. I’ve also realized that as much as I despise the politics and hoop jumping of academia, I like to learn, and I like to share that learning with others… I’ve been giving some serious thought to applying to a masters program and becoming a professor somewhere. I’ll be putting together some basic information to send to the folks at RISD sometime in the next day or two, so hopefully we’ll see what sort of response they give soon enough.

That’s what I’ve been up to, mostly. I’ve been reading fiction again, which is nice (most recently, Anansi Boys, Stardust, and Good Omens… I also picked up Light, so that’s up next on my list). I’ve been working at pulling myself up by the bootstraps to get out of a really bad funk I’ve been in for the past few months, and while it’s still something of a rollercoaster, I think progress IS being made, slowly but surely. Some people in particular have really helped me, and I hope you know who you are. Several of them (but not all) have already been mentioned in this post, as a hint. One of these days, I hope I wake up and feel good and coherent and passionate again. Waking up and feeling like I’m “back” would be amazing beyond words.

I’ve had seven heart attacks… all imagined.

I’m not sure how long I’m going to make this post, but I did feel like it was time I gave a general update about what’s happening in my life. The short of it is that I’m at a crossroads, and it’s coming time to make a decision on what path I’m going to take.

Let me explain. As I’m sure the past string of blogposts have made abundantly clear, my job hunting has proven to have less than stellar results, leaving me out of school and unemployed for the past six months. As those of you who’ve been in extended periods of unemployment before are aware, this has been a major source of stress and frustration in my life, and a drain on my finances, which exacerbates the stress. (So I end up talking about it a lot.)

So this lack of success in finding employment has caused me to stop and take stock of what exactly it is that I’m trying to do. I mean, other than get a job because I need the money. What sort of job am I really looking for? The theory goes that I should arguably be looking for something that leads down my chosen career path… which is what, exactly? It’s currently up in the air. I could continue to pursue a career in game design and development. It can be a lucrative and rewarding career (sometimes even both), though even from my peripheral position, it is by no means a bed of roses (what is?).

The other idea that continues to come up in my thoughts again and again is the idea of finding something I can do to pay the bills four days a week, and spend the other three days writing, and pursuing a career of it. There are thousands of people trying to do just this, and it’s not exactly an easy path, with any sort of assurance of financial stability. That said, I keep on coming back to it, and have for years. I come to it, tell myself that there are other things I should focus on first, and table it. Well, maybe it’s time to not table it, but really go forward with it. That’s the crossroads… game design, or writing. There’s no reason I couldn’t switch gears later, or even (arguably) do both, but I feel like I should focus on ONE for right now, if only so I can feel like I have a bit of direction here.

Progress (or the illusion of it) is important for your sanity, I’ve found. I spent most of October in various states of isolation and seclusion, which in hindsight wasn’t the brightest move on my part. Just before starting my seclusion, I got some unneeded drama laid on my head, and all that time with nothing by my own head to live with did some serious damage. A lot of the work I’ve done over the past few years to improve some of my issues (slightly OCD, history of severe depression) has been washed away, and it’s definitely proving an uphill battle to get back to a good spot mentally and emotionally.

I’m heading south in a few days, which I’m hoping will restore some of my equilibrium. I’m heading to DC for a few days, and then will be continuing further south, until I reach… well, who knows. I’m not entirely sure when I’m heading back north. I may end up camping in the Keys for a while — I have a laptop, there’s no reason I can’t work on things while I’m gone, and no reason I can’t continue to send out resumes via coffee shops and other free wireless places down the seaboard. I’ve been going stircrazy looking for an excuse to travel, and this is as good a reason as any.

For the record, I’m not getting a Wii. I’m not getting a PS3. I’m sure they’re very good systems, and sooner or later, I’m sure I’ll make the investment. I’d certainly LIKE to, but it simply doesn’t make sense for right now. Maybe once the holiday crazes die down, and I have a job to pay for it. Best wishes to those of you who are getting them, hope they’re as fun as the hype says.

At this point, I’m kind of bouncing around in terms of topics. I had a more cohesive thought for this when I started it, but a series of variables are making that cohesion highly unlikely. There are so many things I want to say, and I don’t know when I’ll get to say them. I do want to say something, though: Thank you.

I mean it.  To each of you reading this, whether we’ve known each other for years, or have never formally met, lurkers and posters both.  For simply giving enough of a damn to come here and read, I want to thank you.  Whether you’ve just passed through, or gone back to the beginning and read it all, it means something intangible but important.  It says that even the small voice is valuable, even the personal is important, and even strangers can share common bonds.  So… yeah.  Thank you.  Thanks for reading.  Thanks for caring, even a little.  I’ll do my best to make that care well deserved.

Happy Veterans’ Day

Regardless of whether you agree with the current actions of the military, it’s worth taking a moment to appreciate and pay your respects to those who fought and died fighting for a cause they believed in. Happy Veterans’ Day.

America Dies Boldly

I tend to avoid bringing up politics, largely due to disillusionment with the current system and a desire not to let myself get drawn into the intricacies of doing your damnedest to actually be non-partisan. My disillusionment will not stop me from voting when I wake up tomorrow (today?), but I’m not going to assume even for a moment that there won’t be some serious tampering and corruption going on.

All that to say: go read today’s Diesel Sweeties. Funny and scary, because it’s true!

Hack, Cough, Wheeze

I’ve been feeling not quite shipshape the past few days, first mentally, and now physically (but thankfully not at once). Been slightly feverish with swollen lymph nodes for the past day or two, but overall I’m definitely making progress, staying hydrated and all. I did want to write tonight, however, for a few reasons.

Item the first! Happy Guy Fawkes Day. For whatever other foolishness we all do sometimes, I gotta give props to the fact that we celebrate someone who tried to blow up parliament. Perhaps if he’d been successful, we’d have declared it a tragedy instead, but still, let’s hear it for taking personal responsibility to do what you feel is right and necessary to effect change!

Item the second! I’m heading south for Thanksgiving. I should be in DC the weekend prior, if anyone down that way wants to get together for coffee or dinner et cetera. I know there is a large contingent of DC’ers that I’ve been promising to visit for months… now’s the time. Contact me to work out details.

Item the third! NaNoWriMo is going slowly, largely due to a) my being lazy, b) Final Fantasy XII (expect a review when I’m through it), c) a massive funk I was feeling, d) wanting to curl up under some covers and sleep this cold off. Those are the big excuses. The bright side is that it is still early in the month, and it’s not like I have a job or anything to distract me from catching up. (No no, there’s no embittered tone to that, not at all… Well, maybe a little. Only a little, though. Despite continuing to plunge myself into debt, I’m feeling pretty good about things at the moment.)

There a lot of things I’d like to write about but haven’t been. I know I’ve said similar before, but I hope that as I start feeling better, I’ll actually start getting into a routine of writing again. Now is not the time, however: I need to devote the rest of my writing time this evening to my nanowrimo project. (You need to do just under 1700 words a day to hit the 50,000 word goal by the end of the month… I need to do closer to 2000-2100 a day, and should realistically aim for 2500-3000 a day to handle those inevitable days where I’m otherwise occupied — see: “driving to DC.”)

Between Posts

Sitting in Hanover, at the Hop, a tradition I’ve had for going on nine years now, typing away on my laptop about nothing really of importance. I’ve got nothing really to say, but I’m writing anyway, because sometimes that’s the right answer for stress and worry and overthinking things (not because it stops any of them, but because it codifies them and thus offers the potential of getting some sort of mitigating manageable handle on them). The reasons I’m stressing are largely unimportant and unsurprising. I’m in a sort of purgatorial limbo right now in pretty much every aspect of my life, and it’s driving me up the wall, though I know I simply need to accept it and not let it get to me, especially since at least some elements are decisions I’ve made for myself. (Make your bed and lie in it and all that.) That’s not really why I’m writing though, other than to point out that those concerns and stresses and frustrations haven’t left, they are still there, still acting like monkeys on my back. Frankly, I’m sick of talking about how stressed I am. It feels redundant, it’s embarassing, and it hasn’t done a goddamn thing for advancing any of my goals, causes, or ideas. The only reason I’ve talked about it as much as I have is because it’s taking up so much of my mental energy (not because I feel it’s at all noteworthy or interesting to read).

So, let’s talk about other things, shall we? My time at Peterborough was interesting (a word that is used far too often), and it was nice seeing my cousins. I managed to even get some writing accomplished, some of which I’m feeling pretty good about. Most of it was stress/loneliness/depression induced whining, but there’s some things that I’m feeling alright about. I’m writing a comic script for a friend of mine that I think is coming out pretty well, and look forward to seeing what they do with it. I did some writing exercises talking about the ghosts in the house, and (at my father’s suggestion, per my request for such) a quickie story talking about the Thing in the woods up on the hill, and I think those at least are moderately interesting if not an acceptable quick read.

I finally went back to my parents’ house, which is my home base for the next few months. I’ve managed to successfully live on my own and outside my parents’ house for a decent number of years now, and even owned my own house for a while… so it’s a little embarassing to be suddenly back there for a while. I’m staying positive about it: I get along with my parents, which helps, and hopefully it will serve as a good motivator to do what’s necessary to improve my situation. (Job applications continue to be sent out and, after looking at my most recent list of bills, with redoubled energy.) Mostly, I’ve been working to get my room into a semi-productive configuration (things are still mostly in boxes, so finding ways to organize it functionally is a nice challenge), so that I can get at least some mental and physical clutter out of the way for NaNoWriMo in a few days. I’ve also been applying for jobs, several of which are particularly exciting prospects (notably, a few at Apple, and a few game related jobs), with any luck, I’ll hear back from at least some of them sometime soon, and in any case, it’s something vaguely productive, to get back in the habit of doing.

There’s a new television show that I found out about looking at craigslist that involves travel, where they take you wherever you want. Needless to say, I applied this evening. I don’t know if it’ll go anywhere, and frankly it doesn’t matter. It’d just be neat, is all. I sent in two different places I’d like to go, telling them to choose which they’d prefer for the show. I think they’re interesting choices, we’ll see if they think so too.

Plenty more to report, but nothing more for the evening. Now that I’m back around, I’ll aim to post a bit more frequently.

Gallery Updated

Just a quick heads up to those who don’t check often: Critical Gallery has been updated. I’m not done uploading images, but there is a PILE there that weren’t there before for those interested. Mickey’s gallery is still up and functional (and will remain so as long as she wants it), but the wedding gallery is no longer live. My battery is dead, so that’s all for now!


My cousins are in theory coming in tomorrow at some point, which will be nice. I’ve been going more than a little stircrazy while at Peterborough. I’ll probably post some of my writing later, as most of it is on my desktop, which has no internet connection (I suppose I could transfer it to my laptop, and sooner or later I will, if for no other reason than to keep my content mirrored). It’s been some interesting experiences, but by and large it hasn’t been as productive as I’d like… I am writing every day (or nearly so… took Sunday off to collect some things from home and jabber with people), but it’s largely lacking direction or merit as anything more than journaling (which has its own merit, but not in the venue I’m talking about).

I should really start these posts when my battery is at a higher level… things I want to mention: I’m planning on doing National Novel Writing Month this year, so “woo-woo” on that. Also, I’m looking for ideas for scripts and short stories, mostly as writing exercises. If there is some idea that you’d like to see me explore, leave me a comment and I’ll do my best. (This isn’t a copout on coming up with ideas myself, so much as that I find myself more motivated to work on something if I’m doing it FOR someone.)