Sunny, Beautiful

Before I continue: Happy birthday, Dad! I hope it’s been a good day!

It’s currently just under 70 degrees and gorgeously sunny here in Seattle, which is in stark contrast to the snowfall most of the northeast has been getting hit by. While I can sympathize, I’m frankly just grateful for the nice weather where I am. I’ve grabbed my camera and my tripod, and I’m planning on taking some twilight shots this evening, which should be fun (still need to decide exactly where, though… we’ll see), and in general I’m feeling alright. I was sitting in my apartment earlier, fiddling with files and sorting things (still planning a full clean “soon”), glanced out the window and checked the weather and said “Fuck it, I’m going out.” And here I am.

I didn’t really mention it here, but I had a “date” last night with Avital, a cute barista here at Zoka. (I’m saying it as “date” because I’ve never really done the dating thing before. I asked her out, which sounds like a date, we had dinner together, which sounds like possibly a date, but we spent more time geeking than flirting, which sounds more like friends? Beats the hell out of me!) It was a nice evening, and it was especially nice to get a chance to spend time with someone on a one on one basis, considering other than a few brief occasions with Mickey (which I am likewise glad for), I really haven’t had that since I moved out here. I’m generally pretty quiet, but when it’s been a long while like this, I find myself talking people’s ears off, for better or worse. I was definitely worn out by the end of it… even when I’m a geyser of babble, I’m definitely still an introvert at heart, and it wears me the hell out even if I want to be there.

Animal Collective’s Feels is playing here at Zoka at the moment, and while it’s truly an excellent album and well worth my time to talk about, instead I want to mention this catchy little tune called “Young Folks” by Peter, Bjorn and John. There’s a music video for it up on YouTube (which is linked on their site), and it’s just an amazingly fun little song. The whistling is unbelievably infectious, and since it’s been getting radio play on KEXP, I find myself humming or half-whistling it getting out of the car pretty often. Go look it up, go listen, and then try and tell me it’s not good.

March of Rainy Days

Yesterday was my brother’s birthday: Happy Birthday, Uri! (I know this post is late, but in fairness, I did actually call him and wish him a happy happy yesterday.)

Today? Today it rains. It’s cool and rainy and I’ve chosen to spend it getting some things done around the apartment. Laundry, cleaning, unpacking, nothing spectacular, nothing pressing or momentous, and that seems to me to be a good use of a rainy day in March. I stocked my cupboards and fridge last night, so there’s actually food in the house (great opportunity to inaugurate the cookware I picked up last week), and… well, yeah, things are pretty good.

Across the board, really. The new Baha’i year started on the 21st, and really since then, I’ve been having a really good period. Sure, I’ve been going to sleep at 3-4am (even when I got to bed at 1 or 2) and sleeping all morning, but regardless of that, I’ve been pretty productive, and I’m feeling good about where things are at for me. I’ve started actually talking to people at Zoka, which is excellent (more on that later), and I found a job I really really hope I get (how often do you actually see an entry level position available for game production? Or any entry level game gig, to be honest, but production is the path I want to take). I finished my revised resume last night, and sent it and a cover letter to the company right after.

I got a call from a certain Fruit-based company this morning, though sadly not to offer me a job or a free computer, but still helpful for a project nonetheless. I wish I could say more, but decidedly not yet. If nothing else, it’s useful to start being known (and hopefully in a positive light).

I’ve been listening to KEXP podcasts since I woke up. I’ve already gone through their Song of the Day podcast backlog, and currently am listening to their Live Performances podcast. Let me just say, I <3 KEXP. I like their music, I like their mission, I like their services. It’s a damn great radio station, and I wish other stations elsewhere would get on board the cluebus and start offering broader ranges of music, and less commercial pap.

This disjointed post brought to you by the letters A, Z, and K.

Moving, Stretched

I’ve been back from Peterborough for a few days now, but I’m just now getting around to posting.  More on why in a moment, but first, a recap on the weekend: Thursday, I left Montpelier and headed to my parents house, where I collected Freya before proceeding down to Peterborough.  It was really great seeing my cousins again, and I know Freya had an absolute ball playing with the other dogs all weekend.  As seems to be tradition, we all packed off to the Peterborough Players on Friday night, where we saw a rather pleasant rendition of Shakespeare’s Winter’s Tale. Saturday was spent mostly in the annual meeting, which I think went well, especially considering how much material we had to cover.  After all that wrapped up, we joined the larger Morison clan for a barbeque up by the pond, followed by dessert at the Brick House (which I think is technically called Highland Terrace, but we’ve always called it the brick house).  These were all highly extended cousins (3rd cousins?  4th?), so I hadn’t really ever had much of an opportunity to get to know many of them, a fact I was happily able to remedy at least a little.  To any of you who might be now reading the blog: “Hi!”

Dessert at the brick house was interesting; despite the family connection to the house, this was only the second time in memory that I’ve been inside it.  It’s really quite swank, and the murals inside were spectacular.  I ended up asking one of the older generation about it, and found out that they were painted by a fellow named Otto E. Farhm, back in the 1930s.  Otto had recently immigrated to the US, and set up shop as a house painter in the Peterborough area, but had previously been trained as a painter by the Norwegian Royal Academy of Arts.  When this was discovered, he was quickly commissioned to do murals in several rooms, which have largely survived into the modern day with only a little retouching.  Really neat stuff.

Sunday was quite a bit quieter, spending most of the morning preparing for a reception to be held at the Yellow House after the interment service of great uncle Bill.  The interment itself was subdued and tasteful, his urn buried in the family plot beside his wife Abby.  I departed directly from there.  I hope everyone enjoyed the reception after, however.

Overall, it was a really good weekend, but tiring, and there was more than one occasion where I was about “people’d” out and ready to go hide in a darkened room for a while.  Maybe it’s just a passing thing, but I have found that my capacity for socialization has dwindled markedly in the past year.  Prepping myself to become a hermit, it seems like.

As for what’s kept me from posting this sooner: I’ve been in the process of packing up all my worldly belongings in order to move… somewhere.  Still not entirely sure where, yet.  For now, my belongings are going into my parents house, until I figure out where I’m going next (and how I’m going to afford such).  I started packing boxes and moving them down last week, and have continued to do so this week.  I’ve been keeping it pretty mellow, basically filling the back seat of my car each day and taking it down.  I’m going to probably need to rent a van for a day when the time comes, however, in order to move my furniture.

Of course, given my somewhat scattered nature, I let myself get distracted yesterday afternoon looking at web related foo for several projects I’m either actively or tentatively working on.  Which of course led to me deciding it was high time to actually update Critical Games to use my logo (illustration by Erica Henderson, logo implementation by Nabil Maynard), which I’ve been using on my business cards for months.  (And yes, I’m well aware of the humor over the fact that I have business cards for a business that is currently not much more than a name and an idea.)  Please, check out the new design and let me know what you think.

The Power of Posting Compels You!

I’m not sure if folks have noticed, but despite my recent lackluster and whiny posting lately, there are several new readers, which makes me happy. As much as having friends and family post, it also feels good to know that people you don’t know are not only discovering you, but finding your work worthwhile enough to comment. It’s a bit of a warm fuzzy, and thanks for it.

This has been one hell of a summer, and I’m frankly looking forward to it being over. It started back in April with my marriage abruptly falling apart, continued on into family deaths in June and August, and has wrapped up with selling my house and needing to drive out to Seattle to finalize the divorce and collect Freya (my dog).

Things are showing the potential of shaping up, however. Maybe it’s the crisp air (my favorite time to be in New England is August into early October), but I’m finally starting to feel like my head is clearing, and I’m feeling a little less desparate for a relationship, and ready to actually focus on the things I want to do with my life. While I’m broke at the moment, we managed to sell the house for a pretty decent profit, which means that I’ll be able to pay for my final semester of school and get things back on track. And before you say it, I know that I should treat that money as capital towards another investment, not spending cash, and I intend to do that with most of it (probably putting the majority into a money market or a short term CD while I finish school).

I came to something of a revelation last night while hanging out with friends, namely to not play the game. The things that bother me I should simply ignore, rather than letting myself get dragged into the same arguments over and over. This may sound like common logic, but it really does feel different when it actually strikes you, and you realize you’re just as much at fault for escalating it as they are for doing it. I’m sort of feeling done with the area, which isn’t exactly a great feeling to have when you’re about to settle in for the winter.

My family reunion was this past weekend; I was sick for most it, and thus not really up for chatting as much as I might have liked. It was still fun though, and nice to see faces from 5 or 10 years ago. I was supposed to start driving to Seattle yesterday, but a few days prior to that, Mickey called me up and told me that we could do a power of attorney for the sale so I wouldn’t have to rush out (which was something we discussed briefly several months ago, but apparently she’d completely forgotten about until talking to her father). So instead of starting my drive and then scrambling to find a place to stay for two+ weeks out in Seattle with no money, in theory I should now be able to stay here until probably the 5th, when I need to leave in order to make it out for our court date on the 12th, and to pick up the dog. This makes things considerably easier, and holds at least the potential of receiving my share of the house settlement before I have to start driving (which would make the return trip not only easier, but possible… one semester’s tuition doesn’t go far when you’re paying for anti-depressants and therapy bills and replacing a dead computer plus day to day living expenses like gas and food).

Speaking of the trip, I randomly heard from my friend Berrian, so I may go visit her on my way out, and if she’s interested, drag her along. It’s been years since I actually saw her, so it’d definitely be an experience. In either case, I’m really looking forward to seeing her again (four years is a long time). I’m supposed to give her a call next week to figure things out.

Death in the Family

The past few months really have been hell, between the divorce and the deaths of my grandparents. It doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of slowing down, either: I was informed this morning that my cousin Bob Niss passed away. He was one of my mother’s first cousins, and a hell of a nice guy and talented writer. He will most definitely be missed.