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Designing a Life

Published on 2017-10-10, by in Personal, Travel.

It’s been over a year since I’ve posted an update to my own website. Thankfully, I guess, no one reads it. So there is no pressure to maintain it. Just a $11 a year renewal fee from Godaddy, and a $2 a month hosting fee from Dreamhost. I managed to lock in a WordPress promotion that no longer exists. $2 a month for ‘unlimited websites, unlimited emails’. The bandwidth is limited I’m sure, but that doesn’t matter when you are invisible. Not a bad deal.

It’s been another hard year.  My girlfriend of 3 years cheated on me, the 2nd time in my life I’ve been cheated on. I needed to get away so I spent a month with family in Hawaii and then 3 weeks in Thailand before coming to the realization that yes I do want this relationship to work and would come back home sell everything and travel with her. Her response to my coming back, she had already moved out and found someone else. I was upset a little, mostly just numb. Until I got home Christmas day to an empty house and all my friends were busy with their own families and celebrations. The townhouse, the 2 story behemoth that I had so many plans for that was supposed to be a sanctuary from the nightmare apartments we had been living at was now empty. Somehow a big house just made the loneliness far worse.

It took much longer than I anticipated but I sold all my furniture and stuff, gave up on finding a good deal on a Van and bought an RV instead. Gave my car to a friend to sell on my behalf and headed north to visit family and enlist their help in fixing it up. To my surprise my cousin who had invited me and planned it with me for weeks, was living with his parents and hadn’t told them I was coming. To my Uncle Dennis and Aunt Johna, thank you so much for being so inviting and understanding. When I look back on your lives, professions, adoption etc I can honestly say you are the nicest most wholesome people I have ever met.

The RV it turns out was too good of a deal, and when a deal is too good it’s usually too good to be true. The AC died, the fridge died and multiple times the engine died. Thanks, again, to family I was able to patch up just enough to visit some nearby location for a couple weeks before limping back for help yet again. If I was in my 20s such events would make me rage, but having lived life a little longer now in my 30s, it just makes me laugh. That might be the only great thing about getting older, problems aren’t new anymore. Their just a fact of life, you assess it, come up with a solution, try it and move on. Maybe you laugh a little, maybe cuss a little, usually a bit of both. But you get through it and soldier on.

My cousin Chase even came to camp with me for awhile. I thought he came to pursue his music career, practice music, use a studio, record a song and promote. Did I mention he’s only 23? Can you guess what he did most of the time? Yup, chasing girls and getting drunk were a much higher priority than advancing his music career. I laid into him with a Dad talk of sorts, he took it to heart and began practicing everyday and managed to come up with some new songs. We fought a lot, he took it personally I didn’t. I hope he still likes me and doesn’t regret coming out. I could have been a lot more fun and easy going. Maybe someday we’ll hang out again and see how things go.

Tired of the broken RV life and wishing I was in Thailand I decided to put it in storage and come a month early. I stopped by Tokyo first, the idea being to spend a month there with Chase before moving on to Chiang Mai. Chase hadn’t applied for his Passport and had no idea the process was not instantaneous. Made worse when his mother tried to send his Drivers License to him in Utah, and it never having arrived he was forced to get a new one of those before applying for the Passport. He never did make it to Japan, and hasn’t come to Thailand yet either despite now having his passport. As for Japan, it didn’t feel special to me. They speak far less english than Filipinos or Thai, they are less jovial, and everything was much more expensive. The anime/gundam culture was great and I sure miss the amazing Ramen. But to me Japan is just another expensive asian culture. My money goes a lot farther in the land of Smiles.

This is my 2nd month living in Chiang Mai. I’ve been progressing very slowly, much slower than anticipated. I didn’t rent a motor bike for a week, I didn’t look for houses the entire first month, and I just recently got my Thai Drivers license. After my 3rd ticket I was becoming scared of driving around the moat during daytime hours. The cops aren’t mean and the fine is only $6 (200 baht). But I’ve always had anxiety around cops. Maybe it was how my Dad talked about them, or maybe it was my first encounter with a traffic cop who was wearing a bullet proof vest, made me walk to his car with my hands where he could see them, interrogated me with questions, intimidated me to let him search my car while backup arrived and police helicopter was flying nearby. Maybe for me, maybe for someone else. Sergeant Psycho was convinced I was a drug runner from Miami using a retired police cruiser I bought at police auction and hadn’t bothered to repaint. Ya maybe that has something to do with it. I don’t even remember getting a ticket after that fiasco, or what the excuse he used for pulling me over. I sold that car a year later for $1000 profit.

I’ve convinced myself that the area I want to live is north of CMU near the mountains where winding roads lead to houses that sit on acre lots. Everywhere else in Chiang Mai has neighbors right next to each other on all sides and the weather, despite being early October can still be hot and rainy. Theres something magic about the air that rolls off that mountain, so crisp, clean and cool. Driving up the mountain was a calm peaceful experience as well with barely any other traffic on the road and lots of little Buddhist huts to sit and relax in. I was raised around mountains they are important to me and they feel like home. But I’ve convinced myself there really is something spiritual about that particular mountain. Too bad there are no houses at all on it.

Coming to Chiang Mai I dreamed of putting together a team of game developers, paying the rent for a 3 bedroom house and all the food. So we could live together and work on the game full time together without the worries about running out of money. I found 2 houses side by side on a smallish lot in the area north of CMU. Both have been recently finished construction and never lived in before. 3 bedroom and 2 bedroom respectively. The owner wants 15,000 baht a month for each one. A bit pricey for something unfurnished anywhere else in CM but that area is known to be more expensive. At 33 baht to the dollar though, that’s only $450 a month. Down the road however is a small studio house with small kitchen for only 6,000 baht a month aka $181 dollars. That one includes fridge, bed, mattress, couch, small table, chairs, curtains and AC. All of which would need to be purchased for the bigger house to make it livable. The big house is only worth it if I can assemble a team. Who knows how long that might take! The choice is out of my hands at the moment however, as the ideal house on the lot is on hold as they have a Farang (foreigner) who wants to move from Bangkok and rent the house to make a serene quiet steak house. If I wanted the 2 bedroom home they would rent it to me, not only is it not ideal but I don’t want to move out to middle of nowhere only to end up living right next door to a Steakhouse with customers coming and going late at night. So I’ve opted to wait a week and hear if the guy takes it or not. On the way back I noticed multiple projects under construction. Clearly the area is not undiscovered, Chiang Mai is already growing into the last available open spaces nearby. Chiang Mai is good enough for me this year, but It’s going to get too big for me soon and I will need to find somewhere else to live in peace and quiet.

If my life in Chiang Mai is moving slow, the development of MECH is progressing like a Glacier. Each milestone is supposed to be 1 month long, this milestone might be a year behind schedule. I’m purposely avoiding looking back on the dates because I don’t want to know exactly. Thankfully we agreed to payments upon milestone completion, and amazingly they have continued to work on the project despite not being paid by me for what must now be at least 10 months. I, in a state of anxiety, panic or blues sent a private message to the owner of the company expressing my dismay and uncertainty of the project and asking for reassurance or a reason to keep paying. She made it very clear that I could walk away if I wanted, as she was even more tired of having to pay her employees with no money coming in from me. Ya, I was clearly out of line and should be grateful they haven’t abandoned the project or forced a renegotiation. If the game does ever finish I am in their debt and respectful of their honor, many a business has pledged to a deal only to turn away when it became unprofitable to carry on. If the game is a success, I will have to make it up to them somehow. Honor, such an interesting man created concept, is very important to me. It’s an incredible ingredient I look for in friends, family and business. And it is so hard to find.

So here I sit in my $330 a month hotel room typing away at this status update that probably no one will ever read. Spilling my thoughts on to the page, so that maybe someday I, my kids, my family, friends or fans could look back on this and understand what I was going through at this time in my life. 35 soon to be 36, never married, no kids, living in a far off land ( actually according to my uncle Dave: Bangkok and Salt Lake City are on literal opposite sides of the globe of each…which is why he moved there, you know to get as far away as possible from his ex wife.) Still hoping to make my dreams come true. To find a beautiful caring honorable wife, to raise fantastic kids and to experience the gift of seeing the world anew through their eyes, to live peacefully and comfortably in the comfort of good people and good food, and to make a game that fans can enjoy giving me the recognition, fame and wealth that I desire, so that I can make even more games. And finally to help advance the progress of Life Extension Technology so I and my loved ones can live a hundred lifetimes in this beautiful, amazing, deadly, awesome universe.

To whoever reads this, I wish you peace, happiness and financial success. I love you. In my 20s that statement would seem ludicrous, empty and false. But I have reached that point in my life, where I truly feel love for all lives, all animals and all people. We are blessed to have been born at all and to experience the miracle of living. I hope you know that yes, somewhere out there, are people who don’t even know you yet love you, and wish you all the best. I truly hope you get to enjoy a life filled with love, peace, happiness and success.

4 Responses

  1. Ray

    Okay, so I had a reasonably long reply here but it got deleted cause Internet crapped out at the wrong time x(.

    Anywho, you have come along for yourself. Like the Wanderer in Fallout, to the Dragonborn in Skyrim, you’ve been conquered and yet still stand. You travel to these far out destinations, looking for peace (totally understandable).

    But maybe the peace you REALLY need is from within.

    That bit about the Ex-GF…I hear you on that one. A LDR I was in ended HORRIBLY (she bought the ticket in advance to fly to see me, but another dude stepped in, tl;dr, I took three weeks off to be with her and ended up alone. On Winter holiday. Where my birthday, Christmas, and New Years was in. And I was in a new state with no one I knew. Yeah. Sucked).

    It took me possibly YEARS to even stop thinking of her constantly (I still do but not as much as before). The thing I needed to learn was how to take better care of myself. Where my dependence was not on another but on myself.

    Not to deny your perspectives, having a great partner is fantastic (especially a loyal honorable one), but ask yourself why? Do you NEED a partner? What are you unable to fill by yourself?

    But I digress. These are questions I still handle and ask myself. But you have gotten far, distance-wise and just overall growth.

    You ever seen the movie “Swingers” with Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn? You’re money and don’t even know it.
    And with a Rocky quote, “It ain’t about hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winnin’ is done!”

    From an outsider perspective, maybe if you are going into game development, an area of peace and calm probably would do well for your own being, but not for game development teams (especially considering this high paced realm).

    Adapt. Move with the wind. Feel confident in your own abilities and face those fears that hold you back, even those concerning the police (that would be a scarier story if you are of a darker complexion like myself in the states).

    “You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.” -Bruce Lee

    I sense within you not serenity but a ripple in the water. Whether an internal storm is over your spirit or near the shores, waves will surely be made. You can distance yourself externally but internally you are still harboring major pain. Feel it, face it. Let that storm pass within you so you can emerge stronger.

    “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” -Litany against Fear, Dune

    Sorry about the long post, but it seemed appropriate given what you had wrote and going through.

    Finally, you can not stop progress. Even that bit about not wanting to stay where you are at because you will soon not have peace and quiet.
    If I may request, and maybe you have done so already and if you have disregard; find out what you need. REALLY. Do you need time to rest and reflect? Do you want to retire out somewhere and say you have given all you can to the world? Or do you want to go out and make something happen?

    All of them are viable options, but if you are on a budget, but still want to make games, that peace and serenity is not going to go well hand-in-hand with development (especially with time-constraints and staying on top of the latest in technologies). Re gather your energy. Read, do some physical labor, volunteer, meditate. Get to a certain body weight and muscle tone. Increase your energy reserves like you would in video game so then you can cast higher levels of productivity.

    Good luck to you and keep on writing and expanding.

    • Bud

      Howdy Ray thanks for the kind words and encouragement. A wise man once told me go where you are treated best. So far that is Thailand. I’ve talked about this with many expats living in Vietnam, Philippines and Thailand. When we go back to the states there is an odd low level stress of being there. It’s a vibe thing that comes from all the bills, paperwork, rules, late fees, fines, cancellation fees, insurance, phone plans, credit cards etc. So from an outsider perspective world travel can look like running away to find yourself, sometimes it’s not, sometimes its just going where you feel better. :) I highly encourage more people to try world travel and find the place that suits them best. I don’t know if Chiang Mai is the perfect place for me, but it definitely feels better than any US cities I’ve lived in.


  2. Charles Ramos

    Hi David my name is Charles Ramos. I saw your recent video about the potential of you investing in an interesting project. If you haven’t already chosen a project to work with, I believe I have the million dollar idea you’re looking for :) over the past two years I’ve invested about 3k dollars in building a prototype for my game Rollout. __ You can see the first prototype build here: (https://youtu.be/xglb8KxG1cY) and the second build here: (https://youtu.be/1vD6CtWbKXI) still refining the physics in the newest build, should have an update by next weekend or sooner. Also there’s a design concept for the demo’s arena that ill send you when I’m back home at my computer.__ Having no skills in the technical aspects of development, I’ve had to rely on the knowledge and availability of freelance developers, myself taking the role of lead designer and project manager. As I’m sure you’re aware, finding consistently reliable help can be few and far between, especially on a limited budget. Over the past two years I’ve been living with my parents and working part time as a security guard which has given me the opportunity to invest about $120 each month to keep things moving forward. While there aren’t many things left to finish, at this rate, without being able to pay for more consistency between milestones it seems like the demo could take another year to finish. Eventually the plan is to create a Kickstarter and raise about 25-30k to build out 5 arenas, various weopons and a multitude of skins for the droids. I think with another 1.5k we can finish a solid demo build that will help publicise the game and get people interested in supporting the continuation of development. Thanks for taking the time to consider Rollout, looking forward to hear from you if you decide to discuss the details further.

    • Bud

      I’m not sure if you meant to post this as a public comment instead of a private message. But I went ahead and approved the comment in case anyone else is interested in helping you along your journey to making your game. The video was interesting, and I think I grasp the nature of it, the rolling multiplayer 3rd person shooter aspect probably has great controls. Buuut I’m not ready to invest in it for a few reasons which I will email to you personally. But I hope you continue working on it, it looks neat, I hope you find investors or show it to me again when you are further along. Please look for my email. Cheers!

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