PAX 2015

August 24th, 2015

Lot’s to catch up on, and I will over the next two weeks. But for now I WILL be at PAX Dev and PAX Prime this year, if you see me be sure to gimme a hug! I’m sure I will be poking my head into any number of surprise panels and talks.

If you want to make sure you see me, I would try your bestest to be at the closing talk of PAX Dev. But I’ve already said too much…

“Your hemoglobin is pretty low so while we wait on some of the other panel work we’re going to give you a blood transfusion.”

These aren’t words you expect to hear casually, offhand like “I need to check your blood pressure.”

I was sitting in an ER in Vancouver and reflecting on how things could get more stressful. Divorce, new job, relocation to a new country, job doesn’t quite work out, find new employment, feel run down and generally not well, bam hospital with a blood transfusion. I mean, who gets one of those “just because?” Besides Lance Armstrong I mean.

That was early winter. I had just changed over my cell phone plan to Canada, had a little condo in New Westminster, and everything suddenly got…complex. Fast. Due to a surprise health issue I spent some time hospitalized, had to find new work to pay the bills (and lawyers) and rebuild little things you forget in life until you don’t have them anymore like “oh shit, I need a toaster.” Mentally and physically it felt like I had no time for friends or doing anything but working and staying stationary on the couch while getting better.

Most of that, thankfully, is moving well into the “behind me” timetable. I thought most of it would be done by March but I took some extra time to sort of get all my ducks in a row at once. Little things bring a weird sense of returning to life, like getting a new cellphone and number back in the US, going house hunting, lucking into a great role I think I can do well in. Looking around and trying to figure out where you left everything and how you put it all back together is both daunting and exciting. I don’t know if turtling up for a few months was the best way to go about things, but in a way it got me through to this point.

So now I’m back, and that’s on several levels, back on this blog, back in the US, back in the computer security industry, back to writing and performing on the side. It feels strange, but also good! Hopefully all the ancillary stuff is passed, we’ll see. Sorry for the long hiatus, but I was broken for a bit and am more or less back together. :>

First Thanksgiving alone and spent it awake all night.

That doesn’t mean I’m not thankful for things. I’m thankful for all the good parts of my marriage to Rochelle. I’m thankful for all our pets here and gone (Illusion, Isabeau, Hennessey, Adia, Buddy, Remington Martin, Eowyn Marie, Medallion, Basil Hayden, and Aspen Blue).

I’m thankful for family, heroes, and friends both here and gone (quite literally too many for my brain to hold)

I’m thankful for HBO and Microsoft and the opportunities they have afforded me. I’m thankful for my job now at Black Tusk Studios getting to work on Gears of War. And the apartment I’m in that bridged a difficult gap into a new little place that has a nice sandy beach for Basil to play on that I start moving into this weekend.

I’m thankful for Ikea. If nothing else I will have a bed.

They don’t celebrate Thanksgiving at the same time we do up here in Canada (Canadian Thanksgiving was in October), so today is a work day. I have not decided what bird to cook tonight, it can’t be a turkey of course, too big. But I’ll have my tiny celebration nonetheless and begin to pack for the weekend move.

I hope you and yours have a wonderful day.

The Days Are Just Packed

November 8th, 2014

Medallion the cat thought she would forever have run of my little apartment in the Yaletown section of Vancouver. She reverted almost instantly into the cat I remember. She’d curl on my lap and purr, greet me each morning when I sat for some cereal and watched the sun hit the mountains.

Then Mr. Basil Hayden arrived and the hissing started. It’s been almost a week so she’s over it for the most part. But it was a funny dynamic. Last night they slept curled up together. Peace in our time.

Apartment living after 15 years is odd. I’m high up in a tower and sometimes stand out on the balcony and wish I had a wizard’s robes and staff. The people in the building are all so friendly, and almost all have a dog, so Basil has met lots of new friends when we go on “Walkies.” I always liked that word, I picked it up from Wallace and Grommit first and decided it would be my code name for him to know when we were about to go let him do his business which we end up doing four or five times a day. Now, all I have to do is say it and he runs and grabs his leash and brings it to me.

He hasn’t taken to city living totally. He hates to be on a leash. But he prances like he owns the entirety of Vancouver and everyone around are just his subjects. People stop me on the street to tell me how beautiful he is. They set down their bags or whatever and ask if they can love on him, just for a few seconds. It feels like I have a four legged gift to give my new home.

The mornings on Beatty street are pleasant. My routine has become simple: Get up, clean up, walk (Basil) and feed him and Medallion. Have some tea on the balcony, then walk to work. The transit station is along my walk, people bustling to and from various locales and all nod or say hi or note how the weather is either rainy or beautiful.

Forgive me a tangent, but in Star Trek Generations there’s a moment where Picard comes across James Kirk chopping wood. Shatner delivers a line perfectly, “Beautiful day isn’t it?”

When the weather here shines, everyone delivers that line perfectly, unprompted.

At noon the cruise ships sound the departure horns from the bay. I thought Seattle had good sushi, Vancouver spanks it, calls it a bad boy, and tells it to go home. There’s an Asian market right by my place and I boiled fresh live Dungeness Crab for a friend for dinner and it. was. divine. I even used a new recipe for the carapace fat mixed with garlic and butter to dip bread into. I had never done that. I had always just sprayed that stuff out.

(Recipe fans: boil the crabs alive. Pop the top carapace when done. Scrap out the tomalley (yellow fat), mix it with a small amount of egg, lots of garlic, and a little butter in a skillet (DON’T OVERCOOK IT), pour it back into the top half carapace as a serving dish. Dip french bread in it. Nectar of the gods)

Major changes become little changes so fast. Today I go to look at a little condo overlooking a river far from here. It’s small and like everything up here real estate wise it’s insanely expensive for a tiny space. But it has a small area for Basil outside and is in a quiet neighborhood. Downtown living is interesting but I can’t take the police sirens *every* *single* *night*.

I miss Aspen Blue, and Adia, and Eowyn Marie terribly. Sometimes so much I can’t bear it. But such is the nature of change.

Every day is packed, with major changes flowing into little ones. And that’s ok.

In which a marriage ends.

October 17th, 2014

Some of you know this, some of you do not.

Rochelle and I have decided that we’re better apart than together. This is an amicable split. No one person did anything wrong. Instead, over time, we became different people. Neither one of us want anyone to choose sides, and neither one of us want people to feel like they have to. We continue a shared love of our dogs, and we wish each other the best for the future. We’re both going to need pillars of support, Rochelle in Seattle and me in Vancouver. Over 17 (almost 18!) years, amazing adventures were had, pets loved and lost, many friends gained.

Now, new amazing things hopefully await us both.

I’m up in Vancouver, and will have Basil Hayden and Medallion with me while Rochelle takes care of Aspen Blue, Adia, and flyball girl Eowyn Marie.

Explaining all this is always awkward. Yes we did “all the things!” people say to do re: counseling etc. It just didn’t pan out.

It was a great run. Better than most actually, because we decided to end it before it went down too many darker paths. Relationships are complex, and it’s always best to optimize towards happiness. That’s what we’re doing. We both think it’s a good thing.

I’m looking out over the Vancouver skyline and missing Basil, he has to be fixed before he comes up. We’ll walk in the park across the street. And everything will be ok, eventually.

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