On my wife's 40th

I came across this quote on a friend's timeline a week or so ago and loved it so much. I decided to save it, to post it on Heather's birthday. Then I forgot I had it. But now I remembered. Anyway, this idea of letting go of the interpretation we had of our partner as they change resonates really hard for me. It's not just a funeral for who we thought they were, but also for future hopes we held that were predicated on who our partner used to be. Which all sounds like kind of a downer, but I don't feel that way. For me, love is demonstrated when put to the test. If everything is like a choreographed honeymoon in perpetuity there would be no chance to be stretched, to be forced to grow, to learn to be open to different paths and perspectives. It would be perpetual adolescence. I'd rather grow, as painful as the process may be.

When we met, Heather assumed that like herself, everyone was always in pain. Through the last 15 years as she underwent one awful medical or…

2019 Review

It sucked.

But I suppose that when several pillars of your life are knocked out from under you, you can appreciate the ones that remain. The three main ones that were lost:

1. Job/Financial security. Having been in the game industry for well over 20 years I assumed I’d have no problem landing a job if I needed to. And, I guess that’s true. The problem is that the field has become very narrow due to life circumstances. I need a job that both provides the same health insurance plan, and is local. That’s because I need to keep Heather in the same network of providers who understand her disease. (More of that in the next point.) That’s the external narrowing of the field. Internally I can see I made a career error by not keeping up with the art pipeline for the way art assets are created in games. As my focus shifted to design I COULD have worked harder to stay current on the art side. But I didn’t, and because my transition to designer was still in the mid-way point when I got laid…

In Defense of the Procedural In Television

I haven't seen these yet, but I'm expecting to see complaints about Ep 4 of The Mandalorian because "nothing happened". We watched The Travelers recently and that show made me realize something that had been bugging me about this current golden age of television. Imagine a spectrum with Procedural on one side, and Novel on the other. Shows like Murder She Wrote, Law And Order and Star Trek The Next Generation are very Procedural. That is, every episode is self contained and you can watch them in any order because Novel things (Meta-Plot progression) almost never happens. The closest you have to that stuff on those shows is when an actor leaves the show.

TV shows back in the day were mostly Procedural for non-artistic reasons, and I would never want to go back to those dark days. (Though I DO love me some ST:NG)

But when those shackles were removed, guess what happened? The same thing that happens in all industries when shackles are removed.... everyone went overbo…

Stranger Things Season 3 Review


1. The Plot.  Escalated without being too redundant. 

2. FX. They're good.  You know... Like pretty much everything these days. 

3. Teen Drama Garbage. Hear me out. In most media representation of teenage drama the TONE is such that the feelings they have are as important as the characters experience those feelings to be.  I guess this is "good" in the sense that it could theoretically put you in the headspace of the characters.  The problem for me is that teenagers are very stupid and very arrogant and very inexperienced.  I hate being in that headspace and recoil from depictions of it. What Stranger Things 3 did -which is something I haven't seen often- is present the teen drama with a TONE that views it for the silliness that it is. I think it was handled expertly because doing that could easily lead to being alienated from the characters and not caring about their experiences.  Instead I felt like "aww... I remember those kinds of feelings.  Poor kids…

3 Strikes and I'm OUT... of Options

You know things are grim when I resort to sports metaphors.
This week I got news back from two really incredible interviews with companies I probably would have loved to work for. Both were a No. So that is now 3 places where I had an extended interview that went super well, everybody clicked, jokes were made and received, "We'll get back to you soon!" with smiles were given. 
I've been on the other end of interviews many times. So intellectually, I understand that there are SO many reasons -that have nothing to do with the candidate- for not going ahead with them. I know that taking any of this personally -as a reflection of my worth to my chosen profession- would be silly. But man... I sure FEEL like this is a reflection of my worth to my chosen profession.
One thing that should theoretically help with these emotions is the fact that I really impressed a VERY fickle and high-prestige company, landing this contract at Moon Studios.

It's great that I get to work on …

Mother's Day 2019

I’ve probably written about moms and mother’s day several times on this blog before. But I’m in a position in my life now where the topic is striking me in a new way. I’ve been unemployed for over 2 months now, hoping against hope that this one particular place that has the right health insurance hires me. I’m just now trying to get into the groove of unemployment and maybe try to turn it into funemployment!

I’m not super good at math or money, but I’m noticing that when I’m not MAKING money, our account balance keeps going down. Like a ticking time bomb. And the lower it gets the more desperate I get to do stuff I really really don’t wanna do. So that’s really stressful. Like a candle, burning slowly down.

But there was a time when I was the proverbial candle burning at both ends. And the reason was because of someone who was really really bad at momming. I was married to her, and we had two itty bitty kids. I was in an almost year-long …

Two Months Out of Work

The past 8 weeks have been a blur. After 15 ½ years of stable employment, my work-home laid me off along with about a quarter of the staff. I did NOT see that coming, though in retrospect I really should not have been surprised. Statistically most gigs in the game industry don’t last a quarter as long as I was at ArenaNet. And I saw problems at work for the past several years, but since everything had been so stable for so long I just kept my head down and figured we’d weather the storms like we always had. But not this time. I've worked at several game studios over the years and have never quit any of them. I think I’ve just been really lucky to land at places with good people that matched where I was in my journey.

The beginning of my time at ArenaNet was a new beginning for me in a lot of ways. I had just escaped a suffocating marriage, moved back close to my parents, and shortly after I started my new job I found the love of my life then married her. ArenaNet provided stabi…