Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ending the Year

Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.

[how many bloggers have written THAT over the years?]

I myself have written next to nothing in recent months, and I’m not just talking about the blog. Sorry folks, but I’ve been kept very busy and my mind has been on a lot of things besides gaming...well, gaming has (of course) been on my mind, but finding the time and energy to put together a string of coherent thoughts on the subject has been nigh impossible.

Here’s the skinny: I’m moving to Paraguay.

My family and I, that is. My last day at my job will be January 15th (or sooner, should I decide to cash in my “sick leave”) and our plane tickets are for the 16th. Prior to that we’ll be, you know, buying giant suitcases and packing and whatnot. We’ll be gone for a couple months, then back for the (impending) birth of our second child before returning to Asuncion where we are scheduled to remain through May 2015.

For myself – a guy who just turned 40 and who’s lived in Seattle his whole life – it’s a pretty big change. I’m leaving my regular job-type job (where I’ve been gainfully employed since 1999), as well as my rainy-gray skies, and the “running beagles” (the airline can’t guarantee the dogs’ safety/survival and it’s too long a journey for them). Hell, I’m leaving in the middle of the NFL playoffs in a year where the Seahawks seem poised on the brink of the ultimate prize! I tried to push the move back till after the Super Bowl, but no dice.

[the folks responsible for moving us has assured me they will get me cable or satellite or whatnot to watch the game, but still…]

We’re keeping our house, and we fully intend to move back to Greenwood (“God’s Country”) at the end of our sojourn, but who knows how much things will change in eighteen months? Who knows how much we will change in that time?

For my blog readers and occasional customers: the “biz” (such as it is) will continue. I’ve made arrangements with certain game-business folks in Seattle to continue the distribution of my books while I’m gone (i.e. I’ve got people willing to pop items in the mail for me and, yes, they are reliable). In fact, they’ve expressed their willingness to pick up any new print runs from my SoDo district printer when inventory runs low. However, I’m a little too “control freaky” to put the operation entirely in the hands of folks not myself so that’s unlikely…when the current print runs are gone, interested parties will probably have to settle for electronic (PDF) copies.

[hmmm…I should probably check my account balances one of these days. I really HAVE been busy…I haven’t even answered personal email in the last couple months!]

Being in a strange country with no job and few friends, I anticipate having at least some time to get back to the blogging/writing thing. I even got a new phone so I might be able to finally get this “twitter-thang” up and running. However, I will also have a ton of work just settling in, learning the culture and history of the place (it’s not required…that’s just what I do. I could write a month’s worth of posts with what I’ve learned already), and trying to polish up on my Spanish (which is pretty pathetic at the moment). In addition, the daycare situation is pretty uncertain right now (for both the boy and the “upcoming arrival”) and I anticipate being on extended parent duty a lot in the first few months.

Maybe I’ll even learn to cook (something besides coffee, bacon, and oatmeal, I mean).

BUT regardless of what I end up doing (and there’s been much talk of me getting a job while I’m in-country besides), I am very hopeful the writing/blogging thing will start-up again after we get through the initial transition period.

After all, the main reason I started this blog in the first place was a desire to express my thoughts, feelings, memories, and concepts with regard to games and gaming…and I really had nowhere else to go. Sure, NOW I’ve made the acquaintance of other gamers, designers, and biz-folks (thanks to the blog) and thus have people with whom to talk and bounce ideas…but that will mostly be going away once I’m in Paraguay.  As it was circa 2009, I’ll have little recourse but to shout myself into the void of the internet…it’s not like Greenwood where the game shop’s just a quick stroll down the street for shooting the shit with the likeminded.

But that’s a good thing (I think, anyway). I’m looking forward to working on some of these things I’ve been neglecting…things like web sites and old design projects. My INTENTION is to get a new laptop prior to the move (yes, I’m cutting things close, I realize), perhaps one with a layout program that is simple enough for a simpleton like myself. I’m excited about drinking coffee out of tiny cups while sitting in the sun and writing…or maybe I’ll take up the yerba mate habit if I can find a blend that doesn’t taste like “sock tea.” Heck, maybe I’ll find some time to exercise for a change (Lord knows I’ll need something, what with the Italian food and beef-eating thrice daily).

What I probably will NOT be doing is much actual gaming, unless it’s of the online variety (something I’m loath to do). Paraguay, so far as I know, is not much for tabletop RPGs. There was some discussion, a few months back, about moving to Montevideo (Uruguay) instead of Asuncion and I thought, hey, maybe I’ll get a chance to make the acquaintance of the RPG Pundit, in all his smoky glory. Unfortunately, such was not to be…though I will be in Uruguay later this month for a wedding.

[I should note that this isn’t a terrible thing, by the way. While landlocked Paraguay does miss the beautiful coastline and excellent soccer of Uruguay, most would agree the food is better in the former country…and such is a major consideration when living anywhere for an extended period of time. Besides, I’ve never been a big fan of the beach]

Okay, that’s about it: the update in brief. To all the folks who’ve been trying to message me or send queries on my health and well-being: thanks. I do appreciate your concern. For the most part, I am just fine except for the over-whelming stress of life-changes and whatnot (I won’t bother detailing the holidays and random family health issues…you people have those, too, I’m sure).  Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas all went off without a hitch (well, not much of one)…but again, these things have not been the foremost in my mind of late. Nothing really has…nothing besides my family and the move, that is. But I figured I’d better drop y’all a line before the New Year. Jeez!
; )

Thanks for the great year, folks. Have a merry, merry one…and expect more from me later!


  1. Wow, it sounds as though you are not headed there for a job . . . so why are you going?

    If I may ask?

  2. That's a big move! I've done a couple of those in my time and my advice is to enjoy all the new experiences the move will bring.

    And while not excellent, the football's not so bad in Paraguay. ;)

  3. Well, WOW! Didn't see the Paraguay thing coming ;-) Seriously though, I assume you're moving due to a career opp for your wife? Whatever the reason I wish you all the best! Much health happinesd and prosperity in 2014 and beyond.

  4. Thanks, folks.

    It's not a career opportunity for my wife, though it is related to her work. Suffice is to say, she has business that takes her down there regularly (a week or two every month), and rather than continue what we've been doing the last year and a half...with a new baby!...we are instead going to relocate for the duration of the contract. It's just better for our family to be together as much as possible, and the client has agreed to meet all our demands...er, "conditions."

    @ Kelvin: The soccer's not bad, but Paraguay didn't make the World Cup this time, which is a bit of a bummer (for their country). Still, the tourney's going to be taking place just across the border (in Brasil) and we might even be able to make a game or two!
    : )

  5. Big changes. Sounds excited JB, wish you and your family the best. And I'll see you when you give your blog a few moments between adventures.

  6. This longtime lurker/infrequent commenter has missed your postings. I was a little worried, and am pleased to learn that your radio silence was due to holiday cheer and Seahawk euphoria and normal life and preparing for a big move and not because of some devastating Maliszewskian personal crisis. Congratulations on the move to Paraguay! If you haven't already run across him in your research, check out the explorer Cabeza de Vaca. Most of the stuff you find about him in print and online is about his earlier adventures in North America, but I find his tenure in Argentina/Paraguay even more compelling.

  7. Good to hear you've been busy with something exciting rather than something nasty! Good luck with the move!