To Boldly Nerd…

Video games, pen&paper RPGs and other nerdery

Day 8 – 10 things you don’t know about me

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I dropped the ball on the blogging challenge, I know. For a good reason though. Remember the workplace photo? Well, duh, go figure, two days later I got laid off, for economic reasons. They laid off both us web admins so it isn’t a personal defeat but it pretty damn feels like one. It pretty much evaporated my wish to blog for a while. I have taken it slow since then. Trying to get back into a healthy head space, I am taking time off til next week. I enjoyed the lovely weather by sunbathing on our roof terrace, I read a lot, as you can tell from the reviews, and I just chilled. Next week begins the RL grind of trying to find a new job, pronto.

Back to the blogging challenge. I am actually not a very secretive person, and the things I list I might actually have mentioned before, but I’ll try to dig deep. This is a pretty personal subject, so it’ll be a real challenge to bring the nerd into the list.

  1. My middle name is Hannelore. 99% of all English-speaking friends of mine find this is a ridiculously charming name. We even had a DotH guild member with that name who loved to tease me about it. Thank goodness the name was not based on me but a character from the web comic Questionable Content. I really adore my godmother but I wish she had a more hip name. This is as old-fashioned a name as you can get in German, and I was tormented about throughout all of my childhood.
  2. I used to be a world traveler. Back when I still went to university, I backpacked every year, thanks to having a boyfriend later husband with a travel bug. The major highlights of our travels were four weeks of US west coast sights, two trips backpacking through Thailand, two trips to Singapore, a beach vacation on Bali in Indonesia and a safari in the Masai Mara NP in Kenya. I have been all over western Europe (England, Scotland, France, all Benelux states, Austria, Switzerland, Italy) and roamed through Germany from north to south. I wish I could still travel the way I used to, but it’s a helluva lot easier when you’re still at university. And yet, I miss it. My next real travel goal is to travel to the Maldives in the Indian Ocean before they completely drown under the sea. Hope to get there within a year or two.
  3. I am a divorced. My first marriage was the poster child for abusive and dysfunctional relationships, but ultimately I think it turned me into a better person.
  4. The first computer game I ever legally bought was Ultima V for the C64. You simply didn’t buy computer games back then. I have no idea how game publishers actually financed their titles. You exchanged first tapes then floppy disks in the school yard, that’s how you got games. I liked to roam around the computer aisles in the department stores, especially around such mythical titles as the old Infocom games because those were really hard to get traded. They were all in English, and all text, so not very popular. Ultima IV changed how I looked at RPGs on the computer. Go figure, all these little stick figures and the limited text painted such an intriguing world to me. I never completed the game, but I loved it fiercely. When Ultima V was released, I knew I had to have it. It was released in 1988, and it cost me a pretty penny. At 17 I worked as a paper delivery girl, for very little money. 80 DM was a hefty price tag. Yet I didn’t care. It was worth every Pfennig, everything I had hoped it would be. The Ultima series influenced me so much that the first thing I did when discovering the Internet was to join the Ultima Dragons, a fan club of the series. Their website is like a moongate back in time, heh.
  5. I once applied for a WoW GM position and was ready and willing to move to France for it, when Blizzard Europe had their HQ near Paris. I never heard from them, and was fine with that. One of my former co-workers is now a GM in Cork, Ireland. I wouldn’t be willing to move to another country for a job anymore, mostly because my wife is very happy with her job here.
  6. I used to be a wizard on FiranMUX, one of the bigger MUXes then. It’s still alive and kicking. I guess admining there is like being an MMO GM. You get to witness the depths of human souls and what they’re willing to game and break to meet their goals. I think wizarding there was the first step to turn me into the somewhat bitter, jaded gamer that I am today.
  7. I am a terrible gamer. I used to have a history of never actually completing games. I probably played them to around 75% and then piddled out. This applies to classics like Ultima IV and V, both Baldur’s Gate games, even Planescape: Torment! I can’t wait for the enhanced editions of Baldur’s Gate. I have the complete Black Isle collection, but I find I cannot stand going back to older games. I am a spoiled girl. I really should try digging deeper into Planescape: Torment again, I know it’s worth it.
  8. I am committing the sin of being secretly addicted to one Zynga game at a time. I used to love Frontierville, then switched to CityVille, now I am addicted to CastleVille. Which is slightly jumping the shark for me now, because it’s freakishly using Martha Steward for their Easter Event. Really, Zynga? I actually enjoy playing on zynga.com, because it gives you only the game streams and zFriends that you can play with, without any Facebook strings attached. Yeah, you can mock me all you want now, but I enjoy CastleVille’s crafting system and over-the-top fantasy characters.
  9. I have no game console. Yeah, what kind of gamer am I? This is mostly because I…don’t actually own a TV. Our last TV was tiny and smashed by one of our cats, and we never bought a new one. Nowadays, I actually do want a TV, but my wife is adamant that television is terrible and makes dumber. She probably has a point but still. I gave up making a case for a TV because a) I am unemployed, we have other worries and b) I’d rather buy a Squeezebox first.
  10. Despite having no television, I am addicted to reality shows on Bravo. Well, some of them, no housewives please. We love Top Chef, Top Chef: Desserts and Tabatha Takes Over. Just love them. Love to talk about them too. I mean, seriously, the insane grooming shop owner from Tabatha two weeks ago? HILARIOUS!

I am sure there’s more stuff you don’t know about me, but probably for a reason. I hope I was able to surprise a bit, at least.

2 Comments

  1. That was certainly a lot of personal stuff. I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with your middle name. Some of your international readers – the younger ones in particular – might not be familiar with DM and Pfennig.

    I also remember the times when we “traded” computer games in the schoolyard. I can only find this behaviour acceptable for children though. As an adult one should really be in a position to legally purchase the goods and services one desires.

    As for the whole issue of social network gaming … oh the humanity!

  2. Really sorry to hear about the job front, Andrea, that sucks. It’s quite a sore topic for me at the moment because, since moving from Finland over 28 months ago, my fiancée hasn’t been able to find work in Great Britain and that’s geographically split us up. She’s now had to move to my home in Scotland, while we moved out of our rented apartment in Hertfordshire which is where I work.

    Seriously? No jobs for a talented graphic designer with flawless English?

    Other than that, I remember my first RPG wonderfully – Phantasy Star III. As you hinted, I swapped it with a high school friend of mine and it became a permanent swap when I told him I LOVED it. My first real game, though, was Chaos: Battle of the Wizards on the ZX Spectrum.

    Wow. Just… Wow. Blizzard, BioWare, Funcom, Arenanet, all of them in fact; they should all go back and see just how one makes a deep, yet wonderfully simple, video game.

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