Sean wrote lots of challenging questions:
1. What was the best part about working for Queria?
The thing that led me to go to work for Queria was the chance to keep working with people that I considered friends and whose capabilities I respected. And as I think about it, that was the best part even at the end. What kept me there so long was loyalty to the other people--and I enjoy the feeling of being loyal.
2. Do you feel your creative energies are well-spent right now? If so, describe the rewards you feel from your current use of them. If not, describe how you'd spend them differently in an ideal world.
My creative energies are mostly being spent these days on work and roleplaying, particularly my D&D campaign.
The work I've been doing has mainly been debugging. This is not a bad thing--I am actually excellent at debugging, and at reshaping code within the constraints of an existing design. As to whether it's a good way to spend my energies... well, it's certainly good from a pragmatic perspective; it pleases my bosses and increases the chance that I'll get raises and promotions an'at.
For the roleplaying stuff... I've really putting my heart into the game. Sometimes, things are really good... but on the other hand, it's a pretty private and ephemeral sort of creativity. Even so, I'm pretty pleased with this use; I think it is creating something I can be proud of.
One piece of creativity that I'm stinting is gaming articles. I have several ideas and partially-done pieces kicking around. On the other hand, they don't bring in nearly as much money as computer work--they don't even bring in as much gaming money for me as computer work. So it's not a great loss.
3. In courting Lori, what do you wish you had done differently?
There's a story Lori tells about her birthday in December 1999. Lori had seen me come home with a diamond buyer's guide, and I'd asked her what sort of engagement ring she might want. And for our private celebration of her birthday, I'd told her to dress up nice, because I had a surprise in mind for her. So she thought I might propose that night.
As she was getting dressed, before we went out, I said "you might want this before you put on your jewelry," and I handed her a small jewelry box. She was disappointed in the unromantic setting of my dirty apartment and the cavalier manner, and she was even more disappointed when she opened the box to find the diamond stud earrings she'd wanted for many years.
I had no idea whatsoever of her disappointment. I wish that I had not disappointed her so.
4. So, how do you feel about doing things that read as "adult", "settled", and even "stodgy"? Do you feel the need to break out of that role at all, or do you feel like you're already non-stodgy enough that the role is already broken?
To the first question: I feel pretty good about it. I strongly identify as an adult these days, and I like being an adult. I am glad to be comparatively settled. And even my stodginess is usually pleasing; I do take a lot of pleasure in my careful tracking of our finances with Quicken, for example, and I did enjoy the refinancing of the house (except for seeing interest rates go substantially lower since then).
To the second question: both those alternatives seem to presuppose a need for the role to be broken, which I'm not sure is the case. I'm generally feeling content not to break out of that settledness--for example, I'm not bothering to go to cons anymore, I don't intend to drive excruciating hours any time soon, and I've basically accepted that I'm never going to go to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. Even the 80's music that I listen to is showing up on oldies stations. (Though I've largely switched to listening to jazz as "timeless" instead of the 80's radio that strikes me as "dated".) And I'm pretty okay with all of this.