Wednesday, March 18, 2009


My contract at Bioware was renewed!  All the way until the end of October, at which point I’ll have been here for a year.  A year…

I consider myself really lucky because a fairly large amount of friends did not get renewed and their contracts end at the end of the month.  Really sucks that some of the friends I’ve made here I won’t be working with any longer, but I’m sure I’ll still see them outside of work.

This has really made me start thinking though…  Contract extended until end of October, hoping to have a permanent position by then, but even if I don’t yet, if I keep doing what I’m doing, I should get another extension after that.  My cousin worked on contract for 2 years before he got a permanent position, so that’s how it goes.

But my point is that it’s really starting to sink in…  I’ll probably never live in Winnipeg again.  How long do I keep calling it home?  There was a time when I was extremely anti-social and I had to devote myself to overcoming my fears, bettering myself and meeting new people.  By the time I left I really felt like I’d accomplished that.  I’d go out for drinks and activities with friends I’d made on my own.  This was something that while most people consider it standard, I felt was a huge accomplishment for me considering where I’d started.

But now I’m gone, and don’t see myself returning.  I’ve already formed a new social life out here, which really is just further testament to the progress I’ve made, but it’s definitely sad to realize the life I was so proud of building in Winnipeg, and the friends I’d made over the years, would now have to be left behind.

Tim and I had some issues that, in the end, we couldn’t really reconcile.  I made my mistakes, and am continually learning from them, and I hope he is.  None the less, his friendship was incredibly valuable to me, and a lot of the progress I made in the beginning was with his support.  We’d been friends since grade 2, so I hope some day at a different time in our lives we can reconnect.

Brett and I also have drifted apart, but, at least on my part, I can’t speak for him, it wasn’t for any real reason or issue.  I think our interests just diverged and we could relate less and less at a time in our lives when we were getting more and more excited about our own prospects.  He was another friend who supported me and challenged me in those early years, and a big part of who I am now is a result of his friendship and dedication.

Another sad casualty that came of this is that Linda and I don’t get to talk anymore.  Understandable, but still sucks.  When her and Brett first started dating, it’s no secret we didn’t like each other.  But we both grew and matured, and by the time I left Winnipeg I considered her a true friend, and it really sucks that had to end.

Jeff and I hung out once and a while, but he’d been drifting away from everyone, it seems, for the past year.  From bugging him in french class in grade 10 to being the only one kept in contact with him the first time he moved to Calgary, to now he’s always been a good friend.  In many ways my complete opposite, but I think that’s what made our friendship work.  I really hope it survives this in some form or another.  I fear that if he was hard to get a hold of while I was in Winnipeg, living out here will only make it tougher.

Chad and I met when we worked together at Sal’s.  He was the first real friend I made on my own, and was a real turning point for me.  It’s hard to believe it’s been something like 7 years now, but we’ve become great friends, and there’s never really been any issues between us.  He’s actually coming to visit me in Edmonton for a week in April, and may be moving here in a year or so.  He’s been in to gaming for as long as I have, and while I had a hiatus from videogames for a while, he never lost interest.  I know his interest in a gaming career springs from an internal passion about gaming and he’s not just emulating the success I’m finding.

Olga is Chad’s girlfriend, and I like to tease him that I got them together.  When Chad lost a bunch of weight and went through his own transformation, there came a point when he was getting back into the dating field he had a choice between 2 girls.  We ran into her and the UofM one day, and from then on I told him to go for Olga.  He did, and they’ve been an awesome couple ever since, and I would be surprised if they didn’t get married (and even more surprised if I wasn’t the best man, though maybe shared with Jason).  Olga is really fun, and if Chad moves out here I’m looking forward to her being out here as well!

Kristina and I met through Chad and flirted for a while before going out.  We were both in very different places in our lives and it didn’t work out.  Neither of us handled it ideally and for a while we barely talked.  None the less, she was another big step for me and I never regretted it.  More recently we’ve become friends again, and I’m glad, because while any kind of relationship would never work out, I was attracted to her by some good qualities, and those qualities remain.  We hung out a bunch while I was back in Winnipeg for Xmas and it’s a shame our friendship only repaired itself once I left Winnipeg.

By this point the risks I’d taken and hard lessons I’d learned were finally starting to come to fruition and I began to make new friends on a regular basis.

Andi and I worked together at Pita Pazzaz but never really hung out.  Eventually one night, on a whim, we went for dinner and a movie.  This may sound like a date, but there’s never been anything between us, and so started a long, rewarding friendship many would insist should be more, but we both knew our friendship was perfect as is.  It was a unique friendship in that we were both decent looking people with real social lives, and we could always go to one another for an honest opinion from the opposite sex without complications of  emotion or sexual chemistry.  We still talk on the phone often, and I’m probably visiting her in Vancouver this summer.  I’d imagine soon enough she’ll be going through something similar to what I am right now, when she realized she’s not just on a trip, but starting a new life.

Once I started working at Roger’s I made even more friends.  There was Marcus and Lauren, who were ‘secretly’ dating even though I knew.  I loved putting them in awkward situations while feigning ignorance.  We’d go out for drinks often and have a great time.  A particular memory of getting a confetti popper to the face stands out.  And all the times I’d scare the shit out of her at work.  Not to mention the time I made Marcus scream like a 5 year old girl when I put the mascot costume on and waited in front of the bathroom door.  And

Craig and I became good friends.  We’d talk about life at work, go out for coffee or beers, play WoW all night, etc.  He introduced me to a bunch of his friends, all of whom were cool people, and I introduced him to mine.  He was even invited to come on my road-trip.  Unfortunately he soon went through some hard and confusing times and this put a strain on our friendship.  Once these times were over he apologized profusely for any mistakes he made, which he took full responsibility for.  It took a while for me to see the sincerity of this, but in the end I’ve made mistakes while going through tough times in my life, and I can’t judge.  He did good by me once he pulled it all together and apologized.  It’s just a shame by the time we got all that out of the way I was living out here.  None the less, we play WoW and chat on Skype several times a week, and whatever capacity we stay friends, I’m glad to have him.

The day Kyra had her interview at Roger’s I immediately started hitting on her.  I was ready to get back into the dating scene again, and she struck me as an awesome girl, and quite good looking.  Things went really really well at first, but soon after the prospect of moving to Edmonton to work at Bioware came up.  This put a lot of stress on whatever chances we had, as we were forced to decide between fast-tracking things and trying the long distance thing, or call it off completely since I was probably leaving.  In the end, not surprisingly, this proved to be too much.  This is another big shame, because she was the coolest girl I’d met in a very long time, and I sometimes wonder what would have come of it had it not been for bad timing.  We stay in contact once and a while, and there’s no hard feelings.  She might be going out to BC for some work later this year, and when I visit Andi in Vancouver we’ve talked about my picking her up on the way so the 3 of us could have a fun week in Vancouver.

I even recently heard from Mykyla, another girl I met while working at Pita Pazzaz.  Her and I had a weird but rewarding friendship, and it was good to hear from her again.  She moved to Saskatoon a few years ago, so oddly I’m just as far from her here as I was in Winnipeg.

There are so many great people I’m proud to consider my friends, and I will always miss them.  I know I didn’t mention everyone, shout-outs to Jenna, Omar, Evan, Liane, Heather, John, Ashley, Julie, Nancy, Nikki, Olivia, Shea, and anyone else I may have missed.   I know it’s not like I’ll never see them again, but I felt the need to…  Canonize them in some way.  So this entry was a tribute to them.  For what they meant to me, what they helped me become, and for each and everyone, in their own way, guiding me to where I am now, the best place in my life yet.

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