Update on my life

I realize that I’m not the best known doper, by any stretch of the imagination… but I have been posting semi-regularly for over 3 years, and in this thread I discussed my lack of employment, and dumpage, as of approximately June 1.

Since then, here’s what’s been going on:

I started looking for a new job after a couple of weeks of enjoying being unemployed. (It’s like summer vacation for grownups!). After diddling around a bit, I got a job I really liked. It was at a small startup in San Francisco. They were close to completing a PS2 game that they’d been working on for years, and I was hired to start developing technology for their second, as-yet undefined, game. So I got to work on a project from day 1, and I had a ton of input into what its design might be. And it’s a really fabulous company as far as the philosophy of the people who run it, the quality of the employees, etc. The only drawback was that San Francisco is a brutal commute from Palo Alto, but as long as I was the only person working on Project X, I was commuting only two days a week and telecommuting the other days. Life was good.

Then, halfway through September, their publisher withdrew from their contract for their first game, and they could not pay anyone any more. Ack! So a dedicated core of people, who were willing to work without pay, are still trying to finish game #1, but no one is even thinking about game #2. I’m helping out a bit on game #1, but I basically don’t have a job, and I’m back on unemployment. Sigh. I’ve sent resumes to a few other companies, but there doesn’t seem to be much of a job market for video game programmers in the bay area right now.

As for my romantic life, there was no action for a while, then I went on three dates with a woman who I really liked. She was totally my type, I thought we had a lot in common, I thought she was really attractive, I thought she really enjoyed my company…

and I just got email from her saying she’s not interested in me. She didn’t feel a connection. Sigh.

Three weeks from now I’m turning 30. I’m unemployed and single.

Oh, and I live in a country which (kind of) elected George W. Bush as its president. Which is deeply disturbing.
On the plus side:
-I’m still in fine shape, financially. My lifestyle is hardly lavish and I have plenty of money saved up.
-I have a wonderful group of friends
-I’m deep in planning mode for my birthday party, which every year consists of an elaborate game-show-like event in which all of my friends compete to raise money for charity. It’s awesome, and always a highlight of the social calendar
-There are plenty of things that I take for granted, such as (for instance) the fact that my parents are alive, healthy, still happily married to each other, and get along great with me. And for that matter, the fact that I am healthy.

So it could be a lot worse. But still, I’m turning 30 in 3 weeks, and I’m unemployed and single.

Damn, Max, sounds like you’re doing the best you can to keep things in perspective. Sometimes life sucks, and sometimes it seems like The Powers That Be are just toying with us. Hang in there, it’ll get better.

And may I be the very first to wish you a happy birthday?

yeah, Max, it could be worse and it could be better and that’s life. At least you’re not reduced to living under an overpass, and it sounds like you’ve got a great support system in friends and family.

Unemployment won’t be forever. Your singleness may or may not be forever. Thirty definitely isn’t forever. But, ya know, in the grand scheme of things, it sounds like you’ve got a pretty good life. You’ll find a job and soon you’ll be pitting your boss and your idiot coworkers! Hang in there!

And I’ll follow twicks with birthday wishes! Happy 30!

I want more details on your birthday fundraiser. Spell it out to me. That just sounds like a really fun/great/cool way to spend a birthday. Details! Details!

OK, each year, on or near my birthday, I organize and run what I call “Win (maxthevool)'s Money” (named as an homage to “Win Ben Stein’s Money”. It started out purely as a game, but starting in 2001, what with the post-9/11 mindset, it has been raising money for charity.

The way it works is that all of my friends are put into teams of 2 or 3 (recently I’ve had enough married/attached friends that it’s basically been couples competing. I’m not sure if I’ll do it that way again this year, though… there’s something to be said for mixing people up).

Then the couples compete in a variety of events. They have included:
-Dance Dance Revolution


-Trivia contests of various varieties (the most unique being a question where I have a list of all the items in a particular group, ie, “the top 25 movies as rated by female viewers on imdb.com” or “all the songs on the Beatles ‘One’ album” or “all the vice presidents from the 20th century”. Then the teams take turns coming up with an item in the group that hasn’t previously been said. If the item they propose is not correct, they’re out. Last team standing wins. It’s a lot of fun…)

-Balderdash questions, usually (since it’s all my friends) somehow related to my life (The way Balderdash questions work is that I ask a question which I’m pretty sure no one knows the answer to, and then everyone submits a fake answer. Then I read out the real answer and all the fake answers, and people try to guess which one the real answer is. You get points for guessing the real answer, and for fooling people with your fake answer.)

-Building things. Two years ago, I gave each team a bunch of coat hangers, some tongue depressers and some rubber bands and asked them to build a hallway-mounted Jar-Jar-Launcher. Last year I challenged them to build a rope out of discarded Magic: The Gathering cards.
Teams get points for doing well in each event, and after all the events, the team with the most total points wins. That team then gets to select the charity that all the money collected (I ask everyone to donate some money) goes to. (Two years ago it was the World Wildlife Fund, and last year it was Planned Parenthood). The teams also win various prizes, some of them being cash out of my pocket, since after all they are winning (maxthevool’s) money. (Although what with my current employment situation, the prizes may be less generous this year…)

Then we have cake and I open up my presents. (Last year everyone got together and got me this. I have the best friends… :slight_smile: )