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What’s your life like?

Started by Frank T, April 06, 2006, 04:25:19 AM

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Frank T

Here's another one of those "show me yours I'll show you mine"-threads. To get to know you people better: What do you do when your're not designing RPGs or posting to the Forge? What does a week in your life look like?

I go first: I live with my girlfriend in a little two-room-apartment (planning to move soon) in Hamburg, Germany's second largest and most beautiful city. My daytime job is as a lawyer for corporate, tax and insolvency law, which eats up a lot of my time, but what can you do. Monday to Friday, you'll find me spending my evenings with my girlfriend, going out for dinner or staying home and watching Ally McBeal on DVD. Tuesday evening used to be volleyball, but I've been missing out on that for quite some time. Damn work. At the weekend, there's a good chance of finding me at gothic parties lately. I'm not a goth, really, but my girlfriend knows a lot of goths and I like the parties.

- Frank

Matt Machell

I live with my girlfriend in Birmingham, England's second and not too beautiful city. I build websites for one of the city's universities. When I'm not building sites I write articles on best practices when building them, or edit books on building them. I'm a member of a local group of professional web people who meet down the pub to rant. I care about usability, accessibility and webs standards. So, I guess I'm an Internet bore :) I also practice Lee Style Tai Chi. I like to cook (and by extension, eat) and am a big fan of Real Ale.


Andrew Cooper


Let's see if I can distill my life down to a paragraph.

I've been married to my wonderful wife for 10 years.  We have a son who is 2.  We live in a 3 bedroom ranch-style house in a small town in East Tennessee (yes, the Tennessee where Jack Daniels comes from).  I'm a programmer for the largest Multiple Listing Services provider in the United States where we provide service for somewhere around 600,000 real estate agents.  Currently our implementation is in JavaScript run on Classic ASP platforms.  We are currently in the process of migrating to C# and .NET.  My days consist of going to work, playing with my son, spending time with my wife, leading the worship team for my church, playing games with my friends, and helping my wife with her dance studio.

That's certainly not all my life but it hits the high spots I think.


Let's see.  I've been married to my lovely wife for almost nine years and am father to five children (Arianna, Isaac, Samuel, Noah, and Justice) aged from 8 years to 8 months.  In addition, my youngest sister (Gabrielle) lives with us, which is very helpful.  I work in the IT department at a non-profit ministry that coordinates Christians helping pay for each other's medical bills without using insurance.  I live in Peoria, Illinois in a house that is quickly becoming too small for my family.  We are in the process of trying to buy a larger house further in the city so that we can be closer to friends and our church.  When I'm not posting here or on BoardGameGeek, I'm writing on my blog, playing games, reading about stuff (I just finished a brief study on the Aztecs and Mayans), and doing stuff in my church.  When I say "stuff", I include the monthly Game Night that I run and a discussion group that meets at a local pub that brews its own beer on site.  Yum!

I also keep prodding the Legends of Alyria manuscript with a stick, hoping that it will index itself and knowing that it won't.
Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown

Bryan Hansel

I live with my girlfriend of six years in the middle of nowhere -- Grand Marais, MN, which is a 30 minute drive from Canada on the North Shore of Lake Superior.  I live two or three blocks from the great lake and about 20 minutes from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

We have a cat and a bunch of plants.  My favorite plant is a rubber tree.  I rescued a cutting out of the trash when I used to do Park Nark....I mean Security.

By profession, I'm a photographer, and I specialize in commercial landscape, commercial aerial, and then on the side I do stock and fine-art.  I just found out that I'm going to be published in a major national magazine. WoOHo!  But mainly my images are used on websites, in pamphlets or sold as prints.  I also do VR Tours, and for fun last year I did this one: It is of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.  If this VR Tour doesn't make you want to come over and canoe, I don't know what will.

For fun I paddle canoes and kayaks and I build canoes and kayaks.  In the winter, I Nordic ski.  I used to ice climbing and rock climb, but I've put on some weight and am not in that kind of shape anymore.  Other than Momentary Lapse Press, I have two other websites right now: , which is my worksite and my fun site is: 

I've been trying to find a group to game with, but in these parts they're hard to come by.  I'm 34, so I'm a little uncomfortable gaming with an all younger crowd (everyone aged 18-40 seems to left this town in a mass exodus). The weird thing about this town is it is a retirement community, so there aren't many people my age here. I've been trying to set up an internet game with my old group, but they are all so busy now. So, my gaming energy has gone into designing.

That's me.


Just a note : strange thing about those threads, I think, is that we don't seem to talk to each other. We just write down stuff, our own, but no real dialogue... the opposite of what the forge is about. But I guess that's somehow the party idea !?!

So, well, my life... I guess my goal is to get interested in things ; anything. I work as a functionnal consultant for cell phone (which is not quite exciting, but it could be worse). I read A LOT : newpapers (a must, two hours a day), serious reading (Camus, Foucault, Rawls, Choamsky), and some fiction from time to time (Martin). I also go to the movie about two times a week. I live in Paris, so there's a lot to see there. I like asian movies. I also got a pregnant a wife, and we play together a lot of games (Carcassone, Scrabble, Eurorails). As I don't have TV, we download and watch some americain shows (24, desperate housewifes, lost) The life in Paris is a crazy one, things move very fast here, but we've got a lot a vacation (about 7-8 weeks), so I tend to travel as much as I can. As I don't design rules, but content, I also write a lot, which, I believe, is quite a different activity.
Sébastien Pelletier
And you thought plot was in the way ?
Current project Avalanche


I'm a first year law student in New York City.  The school work isn't that bad, and the city itself would be more fun if I had an income.  Lately my girlfriend's dad has been hospitalized with suicidal depression due to an impending bankruptcy.  We've been trying to cope with that for the last 3-4 months.  So, when not studying like crazy, we have to figure out the healthcare industry, how to file bankruptcy strategically, and sell their family home.  Also, my girlfriend and I just moved in together, which is good overall but involved a certain amount of stress.

Normally my life doesn't stink this much, and I look forward to resuming a normal life one of these days.  I hope that by the next time the Birthday Folder re-opens that most of these problems will much closer to getting solved.

Bryan Hansel

Quote from: pells on April 06, 2006, 03:39:08 PM
Just a note : strange thing about those threads, I think, is that we don't seem to talk to each other. We just write down stuff, our own, but no real dialogue... the opposite of what the forge is about. But I guess that's somehow the party idea !?!

True, but they're very enjoyable to read.  Just to see what everyone is about.


Quote from: James_Nostack on April 06, 2006, 05:25:52 PM
I'm a first year law student in New York City. 

Hey James,
You should come and hang with the Nerds sometime. There is much gaming.

To stay on topic: I have no life beyond BW. It has finally won. I have not left this chair for days.



Let's see: I have been with my girlfriend for eleven years, so at this point I call her my wife and it is not in any way inaccurate (except legally, but legal really doesn't mean much except to paper pushers and so forth). Minnesota has no common law marriage law any longer (IIRC we missed the cut-off date by one year), and we have been saying for the past eleven years that we eventually plan to be married. Sometime. Eventually. When we have the time/money/care to bother with the expense and bruhaha. The relationship, like many when you have kids, is alternately rocky and pleasant.

We have four children together, one boy and three girls, ages nine to two. The boy is the oldest and has some rather serious mental/behavior problems. He is enough of a handful that we had to hire an in-home nurse to help us take care of him, or we'd end up neglecting the other kids just dealing with him. The other three are only as insane as would be expected, and they are all princesses.

I used to work in the technology industry, running a consulting company, until the work in this area dried up to the point that it was no longer financially sensible to pursue. Now, I work as a radio DJ, though I never thought I'd end up in radio. I have no training nor ever had any real interest in it, I just needed a steady paycheck. The hours suck, the pay is lousy, and taking time off is an adventure in itself, but at least the job is cool.

If I'm not at work, I'm at home taking care of the kids, or sleeping and then taking care of the kids (depending on schedule), and thus I have next to no free time to myself, except at utterly bizarre hours of the night when everyone else I know is sleeping and I should be too because I will be having to get up in five hours. I don't, though. I spend that time writing  (usually) -- either fiction or game-stuff -- or playing video games (rarely) to wind down after work; other than that, I DVR movies and tv shows to watch whenever I can. But no RPGing for me for far too long.

Also, I was in a "not interested in reading" funk for a couple years, but I have been just devouring books for the past few months. Mainly Sci-Fi. I buy stacks at the local used book store almost weekly, and often read while I am at work (job bonus!) or if I can get the kids interested in something else while I curl up with paper for a half hour. I'm also trying to get back to illustrating and being all artsy, but most of my energies are directed elsewhere in the time I have available.

I'm also going through some personal things right now that makes all the above a bit more difficult, but don't feel like discussing it in public.

And that's pretty much life right now.
Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio


I am envious of all you who have regular lives with all the attendant ups and downs.

I live the most soulless city in the world, Los Angeles.  I live in a two bedroom apartment with a roommate who is an aspiring screenplay writer.  Probably the first roommate I've had who wasn't insane to one degree or another.  As roomies I've had a female porn actress, a neurotic bulimic, another who was constantly complaining she was being kept down by the man, actually I had one that was fairly normal but she only lasted two months as she moved in with her boyfriend not two months after settling in here and the coup de grace was an old friend who needed a place to stay who, because of the close quarters, I was finally able to pierce his constructed veil only to discover he was a Narcissist in all its true clinical pathology.  In fear for my personal safety I had to have him evicted.  In all this I have two cats a tortoise shell and a lilac point Siamese who have been my one and practically only source of succor for the last 9 years.

I have worked in the motion picture industry since 1987 and have been really hating with a deep dark passion for about 10 years.  About 5 years ago I managed to put a small tear in a disk in my lower back leading to daily bouts of sciatic nerve issues.  Prior to this injury I was working about 80 hour workweeks leaving no time for any life whatsoever.  The work is exhausting due to the hours and tedious beyond recounting.  The ONLY recompense is the money and that don't feed the soul.

Since the back injury and the emotional break (two separate events) I have only been able to work part time at best.  I am drowning in ocean of ever deepening debt with little hope on the horizon for a change in circumstance.  I do not go out because I have no money.  My means of travel is rapidly failing so even getting out is no longer really an option as I must save what use there is left for the occasional forays into the salt mines.  I used to go to movies once or twice a week, but both finances and the absolute drek which is being shoveled into the sluices doesn't make this a particularly enjoyable option any longer.  I do not watch TV for it is mostly wretched, I cannot afford cable and mere fact of a TV being on will cause me to be drawn in like a candle to a flame.

Of my friends they all married in the last few years and have new lives all with children or children on the way.  They have new lives and priorities, and justly so(!), which I no longer share any commonality.  With a bad back, chronic fatigue and no depth perception (diplopia) many sporting events are beyond my reach.  Starting three days before graduation from high school I developed panic and anxiety disorder and chronic depression – none of which have left me though they have lessened to a certain degree.  Some wonderful manifestations of these conditions include claustrophobia, agoraphobia and a propensity to think really, really black and gloomy thoughts during holidays and birthdays and any day centered around or celebrating relationships or love.  In the twenty plus years on and off that I have been seeking help nothing has worked and so that cancer of hope inevitably invades whatever occasional new pastime/distraction I can find that brings some welcome distraction and inexorably consumes that too.  Even the joy of role-play has lost its luster as it has come to me to be the emotional equivalent of moving deck chairs around while the Titanic is sinking.

To fill the hours I tend to read allot as it is inexpensive, a wonderful time killer and does tend to occupy the mind.  I read science fiction, fantasy and history for hours at a time at bedtime until sleep finally steals over me.  During the waking hours I used to pal around with my friends but they now all have real lives which need necessary tending.  I used to enjoy and spend many hours stimulating my mind with the only mentally challenging and invigorating activity which was slogging through the theory boards.  Now a days it's mostly a matter of waking up, trying to find ways to keep myself effectively distracted from my life and myself during the soul grinding hours of wakefulness and then retreating back to stilling quiet of sleep.
Aure Entuluva - Day shall come again.




I used to live in LA. It's not that far out to Mt. Baldy in the San Bernadinos, out there in the inland empire. If you drive up there, or maybe a little farther out, you can get a little peace without spending any coin.

Heck, go meditate on the Buddhists' property up there. It's pretty and they never ran us off, back in the day.


Silmenume, I don't have any advice to give, but I can certainy sympathize.  I hope things get better for you.  I've found that America is a fun country when your life is going right, but it's one of the cruelest societies when things are going wrong. 


QuoteHamburg, Germany's second largest and most beautiful city

Frank's got that one right :) Hamburg is where I was born, but I now live near Portland, Oregon. I work as a paralegal (blergh) to pay the bills and am trying to get my first novel published. I have the most wonderful wife, Lisa; two stepkids, Derek (13) and Michael (11); and a little toddler, Aidan (2). I love them all to death. In the rare moments that I don't work, hang out with the family, or write, I RP here and there, watch TV shows with Lisa (see the TV show thread for details), play computer games (currently Oblivion), do projects around the house, etc. I am on a break from Martial Arts (Kajukenbo) because I pulled something in my back. I used to compose techno and industrial songs, but haven't had much time for it lately.