Saturday, September 8, 2007

Interesting times - in new and exciting edition!

Life often does the strangest flip-flops.

Let me tell you about the last few peculiar days...

It all started when I was sitting with a friend and discussing a game we think of making. Gameplay - graphics - time tables - levels - funding - publishers - target audiences - investors - coders - animators... In the middle of it all, I discovered that I was out of smokes and went down to the street to get some.

That was when my life became a Tarantino movie.

A really weird guy was with me at the convenience store, smiling like a baboon on acid and inquiring about weed smoking implements (Do you have any bongs? - no. How about glass tubes? -no. How about...). With every question the man glanced at me and grinned a deranged grin. I bought my smokes, got back home, finished discussing the potential game and went to sleep.

That is when the pains started, like someone lighting matches in my shoulder, growing stronger and stronger. I took two Advils. I tried every conceivable position to lessen the pain, but to no avail - it only got worse. Eventually I was in too much pain to think. I woke up my wife, asked for help and tried not to scream. The most beloved decided it's time to get me to the hospital when we could not think of anything better and I was crying like a baby - it was probably the worst pain I have ever felt with such a duration, and I have felt quite a lot of pain over the years. There was one problem with this plan, though... we didn't have any cash and a huge minus at the bank (a temporary cash flow problem with a very bad timing). We decided to convince a cabbie to accept a cheque and went down to the street again.

It was 4 in the morning, however, with no cabs in sight. A guy working late shift at a nearby cafe noticed me squirming and sweating - Gods bless him. He gave us enough cash to get to the hospital and back, helped us get a cab... and here were were at the emergency ward. I was too far gone to notice much by then. People in hospital coats running around. Me on a hospital bed. A nurse commenting on my muscular buttocks before injecting a horse-sized doze of painkillers into them. Getting X-rayed and biting hard as the doctor arranged my shoulder before the scanner. Another doctor, red-eyed and bleary, examining me and declaring that I have apparently had a partial tear between one of my shoulder tendons and a muscle, along with a nice inflammation in that area. Listening to a junkie gibber in the bed next to mine about the broken needle in her arm. Nurses quizzing a guy in another bed about how he managed to get deep cuts all over his body and apparently not buying his story of falling on a glass table. I had a glass of liquid painkiller, a proscription for the inflammation and the pain and we were on our way, with me too fucked up on agony and drugs to understand anything at all.

I woke up the next evening, confused. My shoulder hurt, but not horribly. I had some 20 unanswered calls on my phone. The cats were sleeping on my chest and head. A glass of water, a bite to eat, a pill (thank you, bleary-eyed doctor!) and I started calling people back. First of all I have discovered that me and the lead programmer were fired. Apparently the CTO was unofficially accusing us of sabotaging the project and selling company secrets. Arranging a meeting with the guys from work, listening to all the perplexing details, wondering what to do next. Since the company owes me a month's notice, I have a month's worth of paid vacation. Setting up a work interview for the next day, taking more painkillers, going to sleep.

The interview - for a position as QA manager in a company making an MMORPG - went swell. Right after it I got a call and an offer for a job as senior QA at Oberon (the company publishing my first game). In the evening, meeting up with two different people about the possibility of starting a new project with them. That was when I discovered that apparently a whole bunch of my friends I wanted to start these projects with were offered extremely well-paying jobs in yet another project someone else was starting. Half a year long... and they might be looking for a QA manager/level designer/content writer (a Raccoon, in other words). Wife, in the meanwhile, got absolutely fascinating and lucrative offers for freelance work in her area. And I have realized, while walking around a friend's wedding in the woods, that had I wanted I could start my own project. In the same wedding another friend reminded me to finish writing the script for a movie we're doing. And in a phone call with the owner of the company that fired me, it was agreed we'll meet and he'll get some explanations about the real reasons we were fired. The pain in my shoulder subsided to a mere throb, but the assorted options remained.

Life is weird. Two years ago, I was a penniless student getting by; four years ago, I was a backpacker working for the Yakuza; six years ago I was a soldier being shot at. I can't imagine where and what I'll be in two years more.


Roman Kalik said...

Life can be likd that, man. Here's hoping the upcurve stays for a while.

nominally challenged said...

I can't imagine where and what I'll be in two years more.

I'm going to hazard a guess and say 'a millionaire'. I mean, you might not be, but who knows? You might!

Sorry to hear about the tribulations, but wow, that's one high you seem to have ended on. Best of luck choosing from all the possibilities, and have a great year!

Nizo said...

Man, what a rollercoaster ride.

I second RK and NC in their wishes for better times ahead.

NOMAD said...

in 2 years ? at Cannes for your first movie presentation, off contest of course :lol:

for your pain, have you tried acupunture ? in case of emergency, try to learn where are your nerve points and press them with a kind of needle (not so sharp though) a few minuts ; I find it useful

NOMAD said...

off topic

did you heard of that archeology discover in Jerusalem ?

TeacherLady said...

Sorry to hear about the shitty bits that happened there, but glad to hear of the new opportunities for you and your wife. Life handed you a lemon, and you're well on your way to making an interesting marguerita.

Twosret said...

Your health is what really matters that is what I learned. Everything else you can work on if you have your health.

I'm glad to read you are getting better and your health is good.

Could it have been the curse of the Pharoah?

Mo-ha-med said...

Am just discovering your blog and I find that everything is nearly a year old (which doesn't make it any less interesting -- just makes my response a little outdated!)

I guess the fun part in life is not knowing where you'll be in 2 years. I feel almost sorry for people whose life is so pre-planned that they know every step on the way until the day they retire. Eeek.

So, now that you're one year into your 2 years question... where are you now?

aoc gold said...

The Naughty Boy

There was a naughty boy,

And a naughty boy was he,

He ran away to Scotland

The people for to see

Then he found
That the ground

Was as hard,

That a yard

Was as long,

That a song

Was as merry,

That a cherry

Was as red,

That lead

Was as weighty,

That fourscore

Was as eighty,

That a door

Was as wooden

As in England
So he stood in his shoes

And he wonder'd;

He stood in his shoes

And he wonder'd.

-----by aoc gold