Monday, September 30, 2013

The Obligatory "Where Have I Been?" Post

It does appear that I have not been on here much in the last year.

This is due to a lot of personal issues. Where to begin..?

First, when I last posted here, I was a very active member of PlayStation Home and spent a great deal of my time wandering about, living a virtual life. My name was Leestone71 and I was seen mostly at the casino, pouring virtual money out onto the blackjack tables.

I thoroughly enjoyed PSHome. Especially the fact that you could make your avatar look any way you wanted and could buy virtual houses to hold your virtual items.

My character was a bit of a Neo-Victorian eccentric, with a suit, top hat and monocle. I even alternated between an umbrella and a magician's wand because it accentuated the aesthetic feel of the "game".

I even spent most of my time in a place called Cutteridge Estate, which was a property I had bought for my avatar to live out of. It was a nice, dark and foreboding manor that had a haunted atmosphere.

Unfortunately, as time went on, I had to sell my PS3 to pay my rent in real life. And I no longer have access to the game.

Meanwhile, in the real world, there were things brewing that led to that event.

My mom had passed away last year and I quit my job of six years because I got tired of compromising my ethics for a company that didn't care about their customers or employees.

This was a tough decision because, at the time I quit, I was making over $2000 a month. Of course, living alone, I spent almost half of that each month on rent.
I knew that if I was to ever leave, I would not be able to find something else in my small town that would even come close to supporting me.

When I did finally bite the bullet and quit my job, it came as a surprise. Even to myself.

I was a store manager of a payday loan office with one co-worker, my assistant. This assistant had been with me for almost a year (the longest anyone had stayed with me, btw - I think I had about ten or so assistants in the six years I was there) and we both had been thinking of making a change.

So we both agreed to help each other out looking for an escape out of the company.

I went on a few interviews while she would cover the store, she would go to a few interviews while I covered the store. You get the idea.

Unfortunately, none of my interviews panned out. I was either over-qualified (due to how much I was getting paid) or under-qualified (when I was attempting to change career fields). However, she was more successful and had found herself a way out.

She agreed to stay on for a bit longer to help me find something, although she did eventually put her notice in as she was coming close to starting her new job.

Well, as things turned out, we got a call the early part of the day before her last day of work. I was totally caught off guard when I saw her getting her things together with a very sad composure. Instinctively, I knew what the call was and immediately called my district manager and voiced my opinion. Surely, she would have wanted to at least consult with me or give me fair warning.

As things went, she informed me that when someone turned in their resignation they had to honor it immediately (never mind that she had turned it in two days prior or the fact that the district manager waited until the morning of the busiest day of the month to do this). Without a second thought, I asked her which location she was at and I faxed her my resignation right then.

It was a decision, looking back, I probably would not have done under a different circumstance. And I would probably still be there, slaving away and unhappy because I didn't agree with the company's work ethics.

But due to my loyalty and my personal ethics, I stepped off the cliff.

I then lived off of my 401k until I landed a minimum wage job that didn't pay my bills. Slowly, I started to sell things just to make it until my lease was up.

Still... I did not regret leaving the company I had been with.

Then things got even more complicated as the relationship I was in began to deteriorate and I found myself wondering what to do.

My mom had passed away, I finally broke free from a heartless company but lost all my finances in the process, was about to lose my apartment because the one job I could find couldn't pay the rent and I no longer had a relationship.

I ended up moving out of town to stay with a friend until I found a job in the new location. I quickly did find one and I thought it was a perfect opportunity. Things started to look up again and I got a new apartment.

Fast forward four months later to the present.

I now find myself quitting the job I thought was fantastic because it turned out to be all smoke and mirrors and I've got two months left on my lease at the current apartment.
I'm in a new relationship (which I did not expect) and for the first time in five years, I'll be living with someone else.

I'll be moving to the Shreveport area soon and I've started looking for a job there. However, this time I'll be looking for something that I'll enjoy doing, with a company (or individual) that respects their employees and will give me pride in what I'm doing.

So that's basically what I've been up to in this last year.

That and filling time in reading comics, playing games and the usual. Maybe I'll get around to commenting on those in my next (not-so personal) post.

More Gaming Goodies

I've recently switched over to OpenD6 as my source for rules as I find them a bit more flexible. You can find the original OpenD6 files from RPGNow here:

D6 Space
D6 Adventure
D6 Fantasy

Also worth checking out is Westward, a steampunk sci-fi/western, made using the OpenD6 rules.

You can find more OpenD6 goodies at Polgarus Games.