Warning: Life Stories Ahead
Before we begin it is worth noting that what I’m about to pen mostly has nothing to do with games, specifically, so if you only come here for gaming pieces you can move along and come back next post. I promise I’ll be reviewing something or talking about something fun and exciting then. Anyway…I’ve been away for quite some time, so I feel it necessary to explain myself before continuing on with a new blog posts and just pretending like I didn’t near-spontaneously disappear for a few months.
So, for those of you who might find yourselves saying “Jerry, not that it is any of my business but where the hell have you been for the past 4-6 months? Please tell me in an in-depth and overly personal blog post!“, grab your popcorn – it’s story time!
Where Have You Been?
I’m going to give you more than just a few months here by starting off saying that at the beginning of 2013 I was offered an IT position at Privateer Press in Bellevue, WA. To make a long story short regarding the job I’ll just say that I had to unfortunately decline the job due to several personal and financial reasons. While it has always been a dream of mine to work within the gaming industry, I don’t think this opportunity was the right one to take. Perhaps in the future I’ll revisit the idea of moving out west and taking the plunge, but for now I need to focus on what is important – my family.
Now, I started off this story with that bit to give some perspective because early last y ear I’d been trying for quite some time to escape my low-paying tech job at a local non-profit. This opportunity at Privateer Press was my first glimmer of hope in escaping the rather thankless job I held at the time. Fortunately another opportunity arose shortly thereafter and starting back in May of last year I took a new job working for an IT service provider which was very close to home.
This was a big break for me, my first ever salaried position at a “big boy” job (business casual, open bar in the lobby, goodbye mohawk) making decent money and working around like-minded people for the first time in my existence. Only took 28 years! Since taking the job things have been pretty great for my family and home life and I’m enjoying a lot of the things that I never would have thought to bring me joy, along with living comfortably enough to take my wife out on a date now and then and buy ‘the good beer’ is an amazing feeling. On top of all of these things I’m finding simple joys in things that any person not asleep at the wheel of their own life should appreciate: my beautiful wife and kids. I’ve forged new friendships at my new job and that’s also been nice too. For the most part, everything has been on the up and up. Except for this whole writing thing…
Gazebo Needs Rest Badly
You see, I work on average a 9 hour day, 5 days a week which is nothing out of the ordinary for me, or most people. However, the company that I work for also provides 24/7 tech support so that means that every so many weeks I am on call and regularly get woken every hour or every other hour to remote in and fix printers or call Comcast about outages. This makes for a very rough week, typically with a full week of being “backup” on-call support afterward, and a week of mental and physical fallout after that. Being that it’s a salaried position I’m also expected to get my work done regardless of whether it puts me into “overtime” or not, I can’t just punch the clock at 5pm and stop making widgets or handle someone’s server meltdown at my next available convenience.
Toss in trying to manage my time also working on Obsidian Portal projects, which has been especially busy and interesting ever since the reforged version of the site has launched, along with everything else being a dad and husband involves and you have one really exhausted Dread Gazebo. Not to mention at my previous job I could get away with doing little things like twitter/blogging/OP stuff during downtime, but with my new job there is no such thing as downtime.
Game Mechanics and Mechanical Keyboards
I went from reviewing games out of fun, to reviewing games out of obligation and tireless dedication to being part of the community that I love. Lesson learned here is to never take something that you love, and turn it into a job. I know it sounds negative, but I have swiftly learned that what puts food on the table and what keeps me sane should be entirely different things. Don’t get me wrong – I still enjoy what I do in IT , I love tinkering with tech and helping people. Doing a job that you hate is one of the most poisonous things you can do to yourself, aside from things like self mutilation or eating at White Castle. However, IT is a professional function for me and I’d like to keep it that way.
Don’t get me wrong, I do envy guys like Tom Vasel who take the time to make awesome stuff like The Dicetower their full-time job but I’m afraid I’d burn out if I put myself in that position, and I felt like I was creeping ever toward that position. So I’m going to leave it to guys like him to do the heavy lifting and I’m going to keep my blog here and my YouTube channel strictly for fun. This means you might see fewer game reviews coming out of me in the future, but you’ll likely see more editorials as well. My game group is digging Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle and Iron Kingdoms pretty heavily right now and I’m getting really excited for the launch of D&D Next this summer.
I’ve put things back into perspective and managed to work out some semblance of a schedule between both of my jobs, my family, and social life and am now proud to announce that I’m back in action. With a single caveat: I may also be posting about video games in the future as well as tabletop games. I’ve been playing video games since I was 5 and I don’t think it’s a thing I will ever quit doing. I’ll always try and tie them back to the tabletop hobby in one way or another to make for some interesting though/conversation. Don’t worry I won’t be giving X out of 5 star ratings for every craptastic modern war shooter or regurgitated survival horror game that hits the market.
I think one of the prime reasons I’ve gone back to video games is simply because they are easy to dive into. I can sit and unwind while playing one and don’t have to worry about anyone else’s play experience but mine and they also don’t required anyone else to play. Except maybe DayZ, oh boy do you need a buddy in that game. Anyway, don’t be surprised if you catch a link here or there to my Twitch channel but rest assured I’m back. I won’t be as frequent as I once was, at least not as first but I’ll try and be at least semi-regular. Hell it feels good just writing this again, thanks for reading!
Top image by: Ice-Dark of Deviantart
Totally cool, sir. I can completely empathize.
Write a review about Homeworld.
Great! I always look forward to your high quality reviews and musings. I bet many of those long deserted RPG blogs will be brought back to life with DnD Next coming this summer. It’s been a ghost town for many sites since the premature death of 4th edition. It’s such a different landscape now though I wonder if blogging about DnD will ever be as popular as in the hay day of 4E.
If we’ve been around for bit, we have certainly been there. Glad to see you back, and looking forward to reading what you write next. Here’s a question — is there a good “Obsidian Portal 101” video out there? I don’t know much about that and am not very computer literate, so I’d definitely like to learn more about whether this is something that might help my group or just turn into more work with no payoffof.