I live in Houston at the moment (though I originally hail from the UK). We (my wife Lindsay and I) came over here after she completed her archaeology degree and I decided my job working for the wonderful Police of West Yorkshire was leading nowhere. Additionally the job with the Police was rolling shifts and severely ate into my social life and game time. My parents had moved out the US about 6 - 7 years earlier with my Dad's job and I thought it might be nice to come over for a while, so I took on a Masters in Instructional Technology and we moved over just before Christmas 2006.
All in all it has been an interesting experience. A lot of things we were promised could happen have changed or were never correct in the first place. My course is pretty good and I have met some decent people through it. Lindsay had come over on the understanding that she could open a vintage clothes shop but found out that the red tape involved with a non-US national trying to do that were not worth the effort. She has been honing her skills with her sewing machine, she has learned to drive and I am very proud of her.
It is coming to the end of my time on the Masters and we are looking at options at the moment. If we choose to stay I will have to secure a job that will transfer me onto a working visa so that we can apply for a green card. There are some pretty tight time frames involved in things but apparently having done a Masters here puts me in good stead. While I am talking about me finding work I might as well use this platform to point folks to My Portfolio which contains a copy of my CV / Resume and other stuff I have been doing recently. If anyone knows of an appropriate job for an archaeological instructional technologist who loves games feel free to pass my details along or drop me an email.
Lindsay has signed up to do a course in Theatrical Costume and Fashion Design starting at the end of this month (assuming we hear back about her change in visa status). Otherwise she will have to wait until the next intake in at the start of next year. She has had nothing but issues with the international office at her college and it is starting to get a little tiresome I suppose.
On the gaming front, we met some really great gamers when we arrived here in Houston and we have been educating them slowly to the world outside of DnD. The original game shop we found has closed down recently due to some very bad business decisions and some bad personal decisions even though it was the top store with Wizards in the city. Its a shame. If I could have worked here at the moment I might have considered trying my hand at a FLGS. There are rumours of some of the regualrs opening a couple of new stores but neither of them have much experience in retail and pretty much know nothing about the gaming industry outside of playing the odd game of Dungeons and Dragons and butchering Vampire Dark Ages. If two stores open as close as I believe they are going too they are just going to put each other out of business.
I have thankfully found a very nice (and pretty stable) FLGS about 35 miles away across the city and have been buying my DnD supplies from there recently. I love that the internet is a great place for bargains but with a game that requires face-to-face interaction I think we all should support our local stores. Too many have been dropping like flies round here due to bad cash flow or bad decisions and it would be awful not to have a store nearby. I am a browser, what can I say?
I am not going to say that moving to Houston was the best choice we could have possibly made, but it has opened some doors and firmly closed some others. If we can manage to get me a nice happy job and get set up as real people I think Lindsay and I will both be much much happier and so will Ruby the Pug (eating a Hydra nearby). I always felt guilty that the decision to move over here was more mine than Lindsay's so hopefully it will pay off soon.
Anyway, there we really not a lot about gaming in this post, but I felt that a little introduction was in order. Feel free to have a look through my portfolio, which I really must updated, and drop any jobs that look good my way. I can work from January without many restictions. Going to watch Lindsay play the Sims 2, I always find that theraputic and I have been a rather neglegent husband of late, what with all the files I have been adding to my website and the start of the redesign project.
Thanks to everyone who commented on the first post :) I will try and keep talking and pull it back to a more gaming track tomorrow. I have managed to weather out Tropical Storm Edouard today and only had to go out into the garden once to dig trenches to get the water away from the house. I like the rain but sitting inside without the option of heading out has made me a little cabin feverish.
Diecast #17: The Citizen Kane of Podcasts
16 hours ago