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I've been coughing today, which implies I may be coming down with something. And then this conversation happened:

    Mike:
      We're almost done here. Heading out in 5. ::smooch!::

    Steph:
      kk

    Mike:
      I still haven't eaten...
      And I'm not inclined to wait til I get home, either.
      That okay?

    Steph:
      Yup.
      I haven't eaten either.
      But I'm not terribly hungry.
      So go ahead.

    Mike:
      You need to eat if you're getting sick...
      !!!

    Steph:
      I'll just...waste...away.....
      ::drapes across couch::

    Mike:
      Noooooooo!
       I needz youz!

    Steph:
      You didn't looove meee enooougghhhh....
      ::drapes further::

    Mike:
      Okay, I'll come home and we'll go find a closed restaurant.
      Bye bye.

    Steph:
      ::smooch::

Note that I was perfectly fine letting him get dinner on his own, really I was. He's adorable.

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on writing again

Hi Livejournals. I've been writing again.

This has meant an uptick in the number of bizarre/disturbing dreams I seem to have when I go to sleep after a writing jag. Today it was post apocalyptic gun battles. Yesterday it was driving a relative to the hospital, knowing all the while that when I got there they were going to die in my arms. Not exactly stuff I want in my head.

But anyway, I am writing again. I'm also moving again. To a much bigger abode, which means I'll once again have a quiet room to do writing in. And while I'll miss being able to look up and see Mike, the truth is I probably will get more writing done when I can listen to the same song over and over again without worrying about driving my lovely love insane.

Oh, and I'm getting married.

So all in all, I guess things have happened since last we spoke.

Now, back to work.

people still read this?

Well, okay.

The last game I worked on as a writer and designer has had its release date set. Though I'm pretty sure 90% of what I wrote has probably been rewritten or chucked out completely, it's still vaguely exciting to see it go live. Congrats to my old gang! (And my fiancé, who is still working on it!)

The latest game I've had a part of also set its release date this week. My role is not creative with this one, however I'm still ridiculously giddy and proud that it's coming out and that I'm one of the cogs in the grand machine that gets this stuff done.

(I've always been a Kerrigan/Raynor fangirl.)

more on aikido trophies

So! Thanks to the magic of Twitter, I learn that there is a style that has tournaments and trophies: Shodokan Aikido.

Though I'd heard of Tomiki/Shodokan Aikido before tonight, I hadn't been aware that some of the clubs/dojo were competitive. From the wikipedia entry at least it sounds like the ones that have tournaments do so based both on randori and kata demonstrations.

So yes, competitive aikido exists, and I shall now proceed to read the books and pretend that Murphy is somewhere down at U. of C. learning from a Shodokan sensei.

And mental note to self to, like, get back to a dojo in the new year.

aikido trophies....

...and why they're funny.

First, let me just say that I enjoyed Storm Front, the first Dresden Files book. So allow me to get that out of the way. The likelihood that I will continue reading the series is quite high, despite the aikido trophies.

And then, suddenly, she became annoyingly pedantic.Collapse )

the long ride

Car is mostly packed. Mail is soon to be forwarded. I'll be on the road for five days and I don't think I'll be posting much. Or maybe I will. I can be contrary that way.

liveblogging: the last day

I thought I'd do a little experiment and liveblog my last day. I realize this could be utterly boring, but I will do my best to keep that from happening.

And so....

Evening - Dinner and drinks with old friends, some tears, some "happy sadness" as I have come to view it anymore. The good buzz I built from a bloody mary and a beer quickly went south when absinthe was introduced, and carried through to Saturday in the form of much hurling between the hours of 6 AM and 10 AM.

Mental note to self: no more absinthe.

5 - 7 PM - Mike reminded me that some people leave at 5, so I started walking around and giving hugs out. Oddest hug: Tamma, in the bathroom. Not as icky as it sounds (we had just gotten done washing our hands).

Then went and started wiping down my computer. So many years. Sooooo many files.

4ish - Bryan, who put in 2 weeks notice the same day as me, came by for one last hug.

3 PM to 4:30 PM - Talked to coworkers, gave my former intern a "pro tip" on how to set up email filters. (Yes, really.) Told Chris what account to transfer my characters to. Weird to think that I can play GemStone or DragonRealms again as a player. That hasn't been true for 15 years.

1ish to 2:50 PM - Dealt with car, got cat supplies, chatted with cat food representative who was trying to sell me on her products and told her I was going to California. She congratulated me.

Noonish - 1:45 PM - Lunch at Miss Aimee B's. Quite possibly one of the greatest restaurants in St. Charles. I finally got to try the Peach Bomb, which was always either out of season or out of stock when I've been there before. It was worth the wait. Bought a copy of their cookbook, which includes the recipe for their divine milk-lemonade.

11 AM - Noon - Dropped off car to be balanced and aligned, then came to work and started sorting through what's left of my desk. Answer: not much. Formed words on the corkboard using pushpins, then wrote someone else's poem on my whiteboard. The last line of which I intend to someday tattoo on my body. Somewhere.

9 AM - 10ish - Ate leftovers (thanks Chris and Ann!) and waited for Mike to get ready. Watched part of the Scrubs episode "My Finale".

8 AM - 9 AM - Awake before the alarm again, but I seem to have slept through the night without incident. Printing out the directions to California, as well as my housing instructions (the place I'm going to offers 30 days corporate housing while I settle into my new OC life). Next up, the usual mundanity: shower, stirring Mike from his torpor, feeding and medicating the girlcat.

on quitting your day job

So, at around 2:30 PM Friday I quit my day job to go work for another one. August 14th is my last day.

There have been two obvious questions that keep coming up. Why? is simultaneously the easiest and hardest to answer: because it was time. After 13 years, I've made the decision to be back near my family and to do something different with my career. Conversely, after 13 years it is a hell of a thing to say goodbye to the people I have "grown up" with. I now have this ticking clock over my head, reminding me that by August 16th, we will part ways. Some of them I will almost certainly see again.

Some I won't. And yeah, that bothers me.

Is Mike...? is the other question, the one people leave dangling a little because they know it's delicate.

It's not. Mike and I may not be bound by social contracts, but we are forrealz and have no intention of splitting. We've talked a whole lot, and since the current project is a short-term one, he's going to see it through. A couple people have uttered the words "long-distance relationship", but look -- I grew up in a military family. It was not at all unusual to see my stepdad deployed for three, four, six months (or more) and my mom and him got by just fine. Mike and I can survive a couple months while I acclimate to my new position and he finishes up something awesome. Emotionally, a little tough. Financially and career-wise -- very responsible. We're kooky like that.

As for the company I'm going to...I don't feel like publicly disclosing that at this time. I will say it's in Southern California and I'm going to be an Associate Producer. This job I was hired for seems to be surprising people left and right. It's a role I played at one point during Hero's Journey's production, and I enjoyed the dance of schedules and coordination. I suspect it's going to give me the breathing space to be creative in the after hours again, and I like that, too. I like that a lot.

There's a lot running around in my head right now. I have two weekends and a day to be a good Autobot, transform, and roll out. I am looking forward to the drive as a chance to let go of a lot of anxiety and see parts of the country I love, as well as a few friends and Mike's family.

But, hell, I'm looking forward to a lot. I'm blessed. I know I am. What I'll miss can't be recouped. What I'll find -- who knows. Life is good. Life is complicated. This I know: life goes on, whether I stay or go. In the grand scheme of things, I'm just one thread making her way through the tapestry. I'm just an extremely loud one.

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The interviews are fun, I find. Part of me hates the idea of them. This is the part I suspect is still sitting on the bleachers and reading books while everyone else runs laps or flirts with boys. I'm learning to ignore her for these circumstances.

The truth is when I get in there and start pressing the interviewee for answers, I find myself having a whole lot of fun. This is because People Are Interesting, and a good interviewee knows to make him/herself Interesting. It also helps to have three fellow interviewers asking their own brand of quirky questions.

My role in these hires is the interview lead. This (usually) means:

  • Welcoming the interviewee and giving them a quick view of the office and some project concepts.
  • Introducing the other interviewers, their roles, and the company history, as well as the flavor of our game.
  • Setting the tone. This usually involves uttering a "fuck" somewhere at the start of the interview.
  • Keeping a list of standard questions and make sure they get asked.
  • Making sure the interview stays on track. Sometimes, though, tangents can tell you more about an interviewee than the "So, describe yourself in 3 words." type questions.
  • Explaining the company benefits, work hours, and how we run our schedule.
  • Making sure the interviewee leaves the building with questions answered or a place to contact me if they have more questions.
  • Conducting the postmortem.

As the company's only dedicated writer, I'm the one most likely to ask the questions that pick away at what kind of writer they are. There are key phrases, experiences, and sentiments I'm looking for that indicate whether someone is what they say they are. There's no trickery here. If the person is a writer they'll just say them. If they're not...they won't.

So that's where I've been. I'll have another post Friday, pretty sure of it, but for now that's it. Good times. Good times.

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ah, childhood

I've been doing some cleanup in the old "office" in my basement, which means digging through the fanzines I wrote in back in '92 and '93, and...hooooleeeecraaaaaap that stuff is bad.

(At least I was never published for REAL back th -- ohwait.)

It's not just bad, it's insultingly one-dimensional in the portrayal of what I consider now to be "sensitive subjects". I was trying to address things I could not possibly understand at that age, and wow it's painful to read my younger self fumbling her way through this crap.

At least I didn't have my heroine discover she was the lost vampire princess of Happyland and make everyone instantly fall in love with her ESPECIALLY THE REALLY HAWT SINGLE GUY. I didn't give her magical powers. But she is an orphan (of course!). And I break her nose, leg, and ribs over the course of 48 hours, yet still manage to get her to ride off into the sunset. And then she heads out on foot and on her own with no money and no food to cover roughly 200 miles of road.

And her last name is Morningsinger.

Christ, people. Morningsinger.

Thwew. Wow. Now I want to go write something good.

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