Monday, June 26, 2006

Weekend Away

Just before I was layed off, Julia and I made reservations to go to Ocean Shores. It's a small tourist trap town on the coast of the Pacific Ocean here in Washington. I'd never been to the ocean out here, so when I mentioned that a while ago we decided to make the trip sometime this summer. It just so happened to have come up right around the time of the layoff.

The town was cute, and like I said, very touristy. There were a lot of salt-water taffy, fudge, ice cream, and arcade stores around. Along with far too many "memento" shops. Oddly, we didn't buy any mementoes. But I threeatened Julia with buying a tacky shot glass.

We took off on Thursday and drove the two-and-a-half hours to Ocean Shores and then just took it easy for most of the weekend; we walked the beach, checked out the sand and sawdust festival they were holding, watched movies, looked through antique stores, and pretty much relaxed and wasted time. Oh, and I caught up on all the comics I've let pile up in the past few months. It was a really good time.

Sunday we had to get back so we could go to Woodinville to see Elvis Costello play at the Chateau Sainte Michelle winery. The show was at seven o'clock and we made it with time to spare for a quick picnic on the lawn. Again, it was a really good time.

Today I washed the car (wow, that sand really sticks to cars well), got a haircut, had lunch with Seth, and answered a lot of piled up emails.

I have an interview set up for next week as well as another meet-and-greet meeting to schedule for sometime next week that may lead to some kind of work. Oh, and I was offered some freelance work, but I'm a little fearful of taking on something that will suck up too many hours if I find full-time work. It's definitely work I'd enjoy, though, so I'll have to figure it out soon.

Okay. I'll be back soon. Later!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Lots To Do

Before I get to today's recap, I thought you all might like to read the latest in Monkey News.

Now that the news is out and I've written a bit about it I feel like I can write about what I've been up to without having to dance around the fact that I was layed off. So, what have I been up to exactly?

Last week I updated my resume because I couldn't find the disk with my resume from five years ago. That was a bit of a bummer, but now I have a cool, new resume that's all fancy. It actually took me a couple of days to update it and get all the contact information together. I also continued going through all my Magic cards. This project has been going on for more than half a year, but things have gone pretty much untouched since Julia entered the scene. Now I'm continuing the project. Today I went to pick up some new card boxes, which should help to consolidate the cards and make them easier to store. I also dumped four boxes of duplicate cards at the store, so they can take up room at his place and not at mine. Continuing my errands, I picked up some latex paint so that I can finish painting the display we made for Julia's jewelry before her next show. I answered lots of emails. I dropped off at Goodwill the 16 bags of clothes Julia and I pulled aside yesterday and then did a few loads of laundry comprised of what I was keeping. I applied for unemployment and read through all the material enclosed. Fun. Oh, and oddly enough I started a savings account. Get layed off, start a savings account... makes sense.

Anyway, I've been busy with tons of errands that take up all sorts of time. You know how it goes.

But, I'm running out of things on my list.

Tomorrow I'm going to get my brakes looked at, then I have lunch planned with Shana, Tiffany, and hopefully, Seth.

Then I have to find something to do.

I'm certainly enjoying my time off. And I definitely had a bunch of things to get done around the apartment, but I need to find some work to do. Maybe I'll actually try writing again. It's been a while.

Okay, that's enough for now. I'm going to go find something to do.

Monday, June 19, 2006

A Good Job Done

Julia was sick today, so we hung out at my place and went through ALL of my clothes. This was no small task because I have clothes from my Freshman year of college (if not older), which was 19 years ago. So, we went through everything, my two closets, my dresser, my bureau, and everything on my floor and now I have six stacks of clothes about three feet high ready to go to Goodwill and three stacks of clothes to keep. Plus, I threw out all my old, crappy metal and plastic clothes hangers and replaced them with good, wooden hangers that look really nice. It really was a good job done and Julia was awesome. She had a good laugh at some of my old clothes -- including a couple of Cosby sweaters.

I think money or gift cards for new clothes would make good birthday gifts.

The other good job done is my job at WizKids. As of a week ago Thursday I'm no longer employed there. I was holding off on saying anything until they announced the reorganization which they finally got around to doing this past weekend. Here's the announcement:

From Marc Lore, Chief Operating Officer of WizKids:

"Dear Hobby Game Community,Due to changing demands within our industry and within our own company, WizKids is reorganizing to strengthen itself within the marketplace.

Unfortunately, this brought about a tough decision to have a reduction in force. This is necessary to realign overheads with revenues as well as refocus our resources on the functions that we believe will create value to the industry and growth for our company. These steps are necessary for the long term health of WizKids., and will allow us to focus on our core Brands of Battlestar Galactica, HeroClix, HorrorClix, MechWarrior and Pirates.

Our company is firmly committed to supporting the Core Hobby Game industry and plans to serve this industry for years to come. WizKids’ commitment to innovation and excellence has not changed and we look forward to working with all of the folks that make this industry great to help transform the marketplace once more into one that is vibrant and exciting. In the next few weeks, we will share with you the results of our deliberations, and our plans for the future of the great games you have come to know and love."

There you go. I'm unemployed and looking for something new. Happily, those of us that were layed off received a severance package and we have our medical coverage for a while. At the worst I have the summer off, and at the best, I'll have a new job soon and some severance money in the bank.

What do I think of the whole thing? Well, I'm sad to be gone. This was the job I moved out here for and I loved what I was doing, but I think cutting my position was the right choice for the company right now. I can get into that a bit more later, but I'm done writing for now. Leave comments about anything you'd like me to address and I'll see what I can do.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Disorganized and Indecisive

Not me. I'm not disorganized and indecisive... at least not anymore than usual. Rather, it's the people who've been keeping me from writing for the last week. And they still haven't gotten around to making the announcement about what happened, so here I am with plenty to write about, but I don't feel that I can until they send out official word. Let's just say it's very annoying, but I promise to live up to not saying anything specific until they do.

I've had a number of things to tell you about in the last week, so let's see if I can remember them.

I and six others from work played a seven-player Battlestar Galactica game on Tuesday night. It was funky, but the draft worked well and the game was good. I enjoy that game and I really hope more people pick it up and play.

Julia and I watched The Triplets of Belleville last night. It's an animated movie with very little intelligible speech, but it's very, very good. I enjoyed it a lot. We've been watching a number of films lately because of Netflix. Right now the other two movies we have are Transamerica and March of the Penguins. We're also a couple of disks into the first season of Deadwood, which is on loan to us from Jason. I swear we'll get through it soon and return it.

Julia bought a new bedframe and coffee table last week, so Friday James and I moved it from the estate sale house over to Julia's with the help of a U-Haul. It took a lot longer to do than I'd hoped -- especially when we got to Julia's and I realized I'd forgotten the garage door opener in my car. Whoops. Regardless, with one extra trip back and forth to Renton, we finally moved everything and I took James home. On Saturday, Julia and I rearranged her furniture. Her place looks pretty darn good.

I received a box of goodies from Shane at Great White (see link at the right), so I handed out copies of Savage Worlds and Deadlands: Reloaded to a bunch of people at work. I hope they all like them and actually get some use out of them.

Um, I think that's about it for now. I'll let you all know what's up as soon as I can.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


I gotta say something to mark the day, otherwise I'll kick myself on this anniversary. So, this is to mark the big change. I'll let you in on more of it next week.


Monday, June 05, 2006


I stayed home today and finished up my editing project. So, now I have some questions out to the writer and as soon as I have his answers, I'll fold them in and turn the whole project over. I'm quite pleased.

The weekend was all over the place. Both Saturday and Sunday I did some editing, but besides that I picked up comics, went with Julia to her parents to have dinner and watch The Family Stone. Sunday I met up with Tim G. who was in town with his family. I showed them around the office and had a late lunch with them at Red Robin.

It was great to sit and talk with Tim. He has some great things going on at the moment and I'm interested in seeing where things go.

That's about it for now. Talk to you soon.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Busy, busy, busy

I've been sitting in front of my computer at home a lot lately, but I've been working on my editing project, so I haven't really taken many breaks to update this here blog. Actually, I take breaks every hour or so just to relax and refocus, but I typically read a chapter of a book. Last week I read the second Shadowrun novel, Poison Agendas. And this week I'm reading the third, Fallen Angels. They've all been pretty enjoyable and Kenson is a good writer who definitely knows the material.

The editing project is going well. I plan to be done with the heavy lifting by Monday. Then I'll send off my questions to the author and work in the answers as soon as I get them back. I'm pretty darn happy with how dedicated I've been to getting this done (I'm on page 215 of 273) and still managing to spend some time with Julia and go to work, oh, and sleep. I guess the only thing that's fallen by the wayside lately is going to the gym...and I've only skipped out on that this week. Overall, it's going well.

Julia's been awesome lately. I told her if I took this editing job that I'd need to be in front of the computer a lot. She said that was cool and she's been spendint a lot of time here at my place watching Battlestar Galactica DVDs or working on jewelry while I sit ten feet away and stare at the computer screen. Not so fun for her, but I really appreciate how accommodating she's been -- especially since I know how much she likes to be at her place with all her jewelry stuff and her cats. Anyway, things are going well with her and yesterday was our six month anniversary. How cool is that?

Work bought us tickets to see X-Men III: The Last Stand. I thought they did a decent job adapting the Dark Phoenix story, but I felt like they missed the heart of the story in favor of having a huge, climactic battle betweent he humans and the mutants. It really felt like it was "The Magneto Show." I suppose considering his popularity that's to be expected. That said, they were very, very close to telling a very good story. I own the first two on DVD, but I don't think I'll pick up the third.

I'm sure I'll think of more to write about as soon as I log off, but that's all I have right now. More later.