Live and Direct

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Studio meltdown

As most people who might be reading this blog already know, Sara and I left San Diego because, among other things, the video game studio where I was working was on the brink of meltdown. The reasons for this are multiple, including some pretty high level corporate aggression between Sony and EA Games, but mostly the reasons our studio was falling apart can be attributed to one person, whom I won't name because Sony made it pretty clear that they could sue me to pieces if I ever spoke ill of them after leaving. What I can say is that I and my fellow producers had been trying to warn this person for some time that if things didn't change, and quickly, there wouldn't be a studio left. Tried, that is, without much success.

So it fills me with mixed emotions to hear that my former workplace has indeed fallen into the problems so many of us foresaw many months ago. People are leaving, some voluntary, some not. I really hoped they would find a way to pull themselves out of the fire, but I also knew there wasn't much chance of it.

I'm reminded of a posting my good friend Mark made during his last days at his previous gig (scroll down on the above link to the November 11, 2004 entry). I now think I understand how he felt. Even though it's been over a month since I left my old company, and in the meantime I've moved to another city, another country, and another continent, as well as having lived at three different addresses since arriving here, part of my heart is still with that project and particularly with the really kick-ass bunch of people that were working on it. And it breaks my heart to know that despite our best efforts, the project is probably going to fail.

But the up side to things is that, as is always the way with talented and determined people, out of the ashes of that ruin a number of bright and fiery phoenixes are already rising. I hope to be able to write more about them in the future, but for now, I wish all my old colleagues (except one) the very best of luck.

Monday, February 21, 2005

P.S. Apartment

Pictures to come!


We found an apartment! After bouncing around for a few weeks (three addresses in almost as many weeks), we've found a really great place in Copenhagen Northwest, which means it's a little further out than we'd originally planned. But, it has two bedrooms, a living-dining room, a new kitchen, and comes partially furnished. And most of all, it has a bathroom that doesn't feel like you're stepping into the armpit of some previously undiscovered primate that lives entirely in the marshes and bogs of Northern Europe. Our lifestyle priorities have become clear. Living with a slight commute, okay. Living with a bathroom that smells like damp urine, not okay. Surprisingly, given the otherwise comfort-loving ways of the Danes, the ratio of SwampThing-armpit-bathrooms to FussyAmerican-friendly-bathrooms in Copenhagen has proven to be really bad. So here's to clean, lighted, and well-ventilated bathrooms.

We sign the lease tomorrow night, and then start moving in over the next few days. This means going furniture shopping. We're both looking forward to this, though I think Sara is more excited than I am. One of the side-effects of having decided we might not stay in San Diego relatively early after we arrived there is that we never really settled in to our apartment. Not much furniture or art or other homely touches to speak of. Truth is, we've been feeling rootless for over a year, so it will be good to feel like we have a real home again. As an added bonus, we will have an extra room, in case y'all come to visit some time.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005


Working at Sony, between the long lunches and little physical activity, put about 20 pounds on me in just over one year. In just under one month of being in Denmark, I figure I've lost about 5-10 of them again, just from walking to and from the busses, trains, and subways. It might seem vain to be obsessed with my weight, and vanity is surely something I'm going to hell for anyway, but it's strange how much impact even a relatively small amount of extra weight can have on your comfort level. My stomach actually started to hurt where it seemed to push against the bottom of my breastbone, and feeling my thighs chafe from rubbing together when I wore lose shorts was an entirely unwanted sensation. So yet another reason why moving to Denmark is a good thing.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Snow, plus Wil Wheaton

It has been snowing in Denmark for about three days. It started out really wet and slushy, but on my way into Copenhagen today, it changed into big, fluffy, Santa Claus flakes, which rarely come down in Denmark. It's actually been fun to see the snow. After a year of complaining about the beige weather of San Diego, only to arrive in DK and find out that the weather was fairly mild for this time of year, a really good snow storm has put me in a better frame of mind.

Also, for your reading enjoyment: Yes, that Wil Wheaton. The one who played Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation. It turns out that the kid who played the most annoying sci-fi character ever (please say that with the Comic Book Guy voice) is a pretty funny, normal adult now.

Friday, February 11, 2005


So today is the end of my first week at work. Sara and I are going out on the town to celebrate. As usual when starting a new job, this week was a whirlwind of meeting people, promptly forgetting their names, and then seeing them again an hour later and pretending to remember who they were. I've taught my first class for each of my courses, and things look promising so far. I've also made the acquaintance of some fellow game developers and researchers, largely thanks to the help of my friend, Phil.

We're still looking for a place to live, though it looks more and more like we'll buy our own place. The housing market in Copenhagen is kuh-razy, but the good news is that if we buy now, we can expect to see sizeable appreciation on our investment over the next few years. The fact that I can even write that without bursting into peals of embarassed laughter at my sheer audacity in thinking that I, too, could someday be a home-owner, is further evidence that I will eventually become a fully-adult man.

Live and Direct from Copenhagen

Except that we're not. Actually, though I'm posting from my office at the University of Copenhagen, my partner in crime the Rocknrollkitty and I are actually, presently living with friends in Korsør, about an hour by train from the big C. Chalk it up to the housing market in Copenhagen, and send me an e-mail if you know of anybody with an apartment up for grabs in the area.

This blog is a way for me to keep friends and family posted about our adventures as fabulous ex-patriates. Now that I think about it, though, what else would a person use a blog for, other than keeping friends and family posted about adventures (ex-pat or otherwise). I mean, you never see somebody write, 'This blog will be a way for me to continue my research on T-cell based rehabilitation for neural cord injuries,' or 'This blog is part of my never-ending struggle against the infernal machinations of the international crime syndicate, SMERSH,' or 'This blog is a figment of your imagination.'