Well, it’s been a while since my last post. What’s been happening over this last month?
Well, I’ve been ill – still. For the last six months or so I’ve had stomach cramps and generally unpleasant gastrointestinal issues which have come and gone and they’ve been rearing their ugly ahead again this month. I’ve had bloodtests and given various samples and what not so hopefully they can figure out what it is and get me sorted.
In happier news, I’m enjoying the new job. Multiplay is a cool place to work, full of fun people and interesting projects. Sometimes I get the odd surprise when I realise just how big they really are, having not had much experience working for large companies wheeling and dealing with heavyweights in the gaming industry. It’s pretty exciting and even though it’s a complete arse to get there, it’s totally worth it. That said, I will be so glad when I can drive there. This commute as it stands is slowly killing me. At least everyone there is really understanding about the commute, my various ailments and so working from home is an option, though I try not to take advantage of it too often because I feel bad shuttered off at home and miss out on the working atmosphere in the office.
Which leads me on to the driving. So far, so good. No major incidents as of yet, no remnants of children to be scraped off the instructors car quite yet. It’s been interesting, I started off my first lesson on hills, my second lesson was on ice and in my last lesson I had the pleasure of being on a steep hill I couldn’t see over, when two buses came over all while I had a white van man right behind me. Considering this was my first time ever on roads with other road users, this was mildly concerning and I screwed up a little, but not so badly anything bad happened. To me shame the instructor (who is a very nice woman working under the AA) had to intervene a bit on that particular incident, but not to worry, it’s early days yet. The main issue I find I have with driving is getting feedback from the pedals. My feet are often pretty numb and so I find it hard to tell whether I’m pushing down on them or not. Gentle pressure on things like the accelerator I can’t feel at all and so I have to judge by ear. It also doesn’t help that my giant clown feet in my huge boots keep catching on the footwell when pressing/depressing the clutch. Hopefully I’m going to get some trainers at some point which should alleviate some of those issues.
The AA website is a bit shit and makes paying people a bit of an arse. You’d think something like that would be fairly important. I might have to resort to cheques or something.
At the end of February Dru and I are heading over to Canada to stay with our good friend Asheyna, whom we met on Protagonize. Collaborative writing, bringing people together – NickB should use that as a sickeningly cheesy tag line I’m really looking forwards to it, I could do with a holiday, this commute and busy period at work has taken it out of me a bit. It’s odd, I never really saw myself as the kind of person who needs a break from work. I’ve always enjoyed what I do and so holidays have mostly been “you don’t have to come in” days to me, rather than a respite from working. With this commute though, that has changed which makes me feel a little sad. Something else that I find mildly depressing is that I rarely do any coding outside of work any more. Admittedly, I rarely do much of anything outside of work at the moment – I get up at 0530, spend and hour getting ready then get to the train station for 0711 to reach Southampton by 0800 where I catch a bus to the ferry terminal for 0810 where I catch a ferry at 0835 to reach Hythe by 0855 where I then get a lift into work. Then I do the whole thing in reverse, starting at 1800 and arriving home at around 2030. That leaves me barely any time to do anything and the weekends are spent mostly recovering on lack of sleep so thinking isn’t high on my list of pursuits, usually I vegetate to mindless internet browsing, watching TV and the occasional PS3 game session because I’m just too exhausted for anything else.
Now, that sounds a lot worse than it is. It’s not like I’m zombified the entire time, but I am sufficiently tired that it’s just hard to do anything that I want to do, because I never feel very ‘fresh’ mentally. Squeezing in a Warhammer fantasy roleplay on Thursdays and a D&D 4th Edition on Sundays is taxing enough, but I’m glad I do them, if I did nothing at all every night I’d go insane. Monday nights on the G3 Show are becoming problematic for me at the moment. Admittedly, this is mostly due to the poor performance of the train system. The weather recently has thrown a complete spanner in the works and it takes them forever to fix anything. To their credit though, I’ve found SouthWest Trains’ twitter information feed very helpful and it’s been nice to actually know I’m going to be late before hand so I can give people warning or decide to work from home.
Speaking of roleplays, I’ve decided to fulfil my ambition to play a Don’t Rest Your head game by playing it from the other side of the screen as a GM. Normally I don’t GM very much, it’s both a lot of work and I don’t like my game-running style meshes well with a lot of my players, at least not to my observations, which whether it actually is the case or not still demoralises me enough to make most of my games fail miserably. However, these Don’t rest Your Head games I’m running are different for two reason. Firstly, Don’t Rest Your head is an awesome systems that seems likes it was designed for the exact kind of narrative control I like to use, with an awesome setting to boot. Secondly, I’m running the games on Google Wave for players I’ve never played with before. Running it in a non-real-time way gives me time to perfect things and think ahead, so there isn’t so much pressure to plan ahead before each game or on improvising quickly during a session. So far, I’ve found Google Wave works very much like running a game on a forum or site like RPoL.net is. The real-time aspects are useful and I plan on writing some gadgets to help with things like dice rolls in the Don’t Rest Your Head format, which should be nice. All my players are also from Protagonize. That site is slowly becoming the center of my internet life. Don’t rest Your Head is such an awesome system and setting, I highly recommend it. I also bought the supplement Don’t Lose Your Mind which has some really awesome Madness talents. I strongly urge you to check out DRYH and DLYM at Evil Hat. You can buy them in the UK without paying crazy international delivery prices from Leisure Games. I’m also playing in a D&D 4th Edition game on there
Speaking of Protagonize.com, I volunteered my services as a judge in the current unofficial poetry tournament. It’s been pretty fun and I’ve tried to make a real effort to give some good critique on each poem, though this last found has suffered a bit due to being busy at work. I’ve had some nice feedback on my feedback – it’s always nice to be appreciated.
February looks like it’s going to be yet another busy and interesting month. I’m looking forwards to Canana and meeting Asheyna in person and hopefully some of my other friends from Protagonize that happen to live in Vancouver including NickB himself.
And that’s this last month or so.