Look, she was using my account.
I don't fault her for it – that's the downside of auto-login. But while I was at work, slaving away for the corporate man, she was using my beloved 12" Powerbook to read threads that grabbed her interest. It didn't bother me. In fact, I found her interest validating.
But you don't let someone use your account. That's about standards.
So I asked her to stop. In hindsight, maybe I set myself up for it. But it was a hell of a way to bring her into the forums, right?
You guys know Shannon's role in GWJ way more than I do. We're not dating anymore – in fact, she's married to Edwin now, and the two of them make a fantastic pair. I'm willing to bet, however, that the clover you know isn't too different from the one I know: sardonic wit, sharp tongue, but a compassion that encompasses everyone around her. She never needed to be the center of attention, but she was never left out, either. In a room full of people, she'd be right at home on the edge, floating in when it was time to say something smart or sweet.
She's one of the people who pushed me to write for GWJ in the first place, so I should thank her for that. I think she did that so I'd shut up about it, but also because she saw so much positivity coming from the community. That she's become an integral part of it makes me happy, and I owe her a lot. Clover is, frankly, one of my favorite people in the world, and one of my dearest friends. Even if she totally hacked my account.
She didn't make me sleep on the couch, by the way. But she's never let me live that thread down.
Who the devil are you?
I’m Shannon Garcia, aspiring Renaissance woman and cultivator of old-man hobbies. I live in Seattle (yet again, and for good this time. We have a bit of a boomerang relationship).
What are you supposed to be doing when you're reading GWJ?
I’m a Cordon Bleu-trained chef; I did my restaurant time and managed a bagel bakery for a while. For the past several years I’ve been working in freelance graphic and Wordpress design, but I prefer work that’s more hands-on, so I’m looking at going back to music (my first love) and building a career in woodwinds repair.
When you're not working or gaming, what do you do with your time?
If it’s an old-dude hobby, I’m interested. Music, astronomy, stamps, coins, wine, model building, ham radio, aquarium fish, bird-watching, airport spotting, book collecting ... sign me up! I was in a performing arts academy when I was younger, so I play a few instruments, and marched in a bagpipe band in high school. I possess some rusty Japanese skills. I keep meaning to take up trap/clay/skeet shooting eventually. I’m (very) slowly teaching myself Koine Greek.
How about family? Kids? Pets? Particularly meaningful inanimate objects?
As made famous here, I’m married to Edwin. We did meet through GWJ, which makes most Goodjers our extended family — for better or for worse!
We have a pixie-bob cat who is now called Destruct-o-kitty ... she had a real name once, but it quickly fell into the dustbin of history when her nickname caught on.
We also have a lot of ducks in our pond. IRC hears about them all the time. Because I’m an old man.
When and/or how did you get into gaming?
As far as video games go, I started with an Atari 2600 like a lot of folks, and proceeded to suck at Pike’s Peak and Pitfall and Grand Prix and a bunch of other things. Then I moved on to a Commodore VIC-20 with a BASIC programming guide in British English, and then my beloved C64 and a big stack of floppies. I didn’t beat a game from start to finish until FF8.
My heart really belongs to PnP, though. I didn’t get into it until later, but I prefer the freeform, collaborative nature of it.
What is your fondest gaming memory?
Q-Stone and I were Antarctic drug kingpins in an epic game of Fiasco that turned into an homage to John Carpenter’s The Thing. That was one of my finer moments.
After that it’s a tie between ringing in New Year’s 2001 with a marathon evening of Worms Armageddon, and a mock-fight in 6th grade between one classmate wielding a Super Scope and another with a Power Glove.
Why do you play games? Why haven't you outgrown them?
Games are for people who like problem solving. If you like figuring out how to do things, you stand a good chance of staying interested in some kind of gaming. I don’t always have the attention span for video games, but there’s enough going on in PnP and board games also that I can rotate between the three.
I think game opportunities are almost infinitely variable. There will always be something out there that will push my entertainment or curiosity buttons, even if I have to work a bit to find the “next big thing” for me personally (which is almost never what’s currently popular).
If you could live in a videogame world, which would it be? Why?
Heh, I’m pretty sure my life already is a videogame world. A few years back, I spent a lot of time in Second Life learning their version of 3D modeling and building things, and then when I moved to Florida it felt like live-action SL for a while: fast cars, models, shiny condos and douchebags on speedboats galore. Palm trees everywhere and the weather was always nice. No flying marital aids, thankfully. The top news story the day I arrived in town? A nutbar car prowler was being chased by the cops, jumped into a canal, and got eaten by an alligator. Because that's what happens in Miami on a Tuesday. Swap in Komodo dragons and you've got a Far Cry 3 moment.
The first time Edwin and I had dinner together, the evening ended with a Miami PD ghetto bird overhead burning a searchlight, plying a homeless guy for information in Spanish, and Edwin almost getting mowed down by a high-speed car chase. It was like a bonus Vice City mission.
Oh, and my hometown was one of the scenarios back in SimCity 2000. Things got weird when I found my block on the game map.
What is your favorite game over the last year or so? Why?
Truth? Puerto Rico for the iPad, because I’ve been chronically ill for a couple years, and for a while I couldn’t play anything much more complicated than that. Runners-up would be 10000000 and Candy Grapple (which I still haven’t beaten. Don’t tell Switchbreak).
What is your favorite game that you’re playing right now? Why?
I’m in a online D&D 4E campaign that mateofalcone is running, and that’s my current engagement. I’ve just started getting into CK2, but I know that will become a massive time-sink, so I’m trying to finish up a few things before I really get carried away with that one.
Which upcoming game are you looking forward to most? Why?
The D&D campaign I’m putting together, actually. It’s my opus. I’ve been tinkering with it for several years now. I imagine when it gets going sometime this spring or summer it will run for a few years. It’s set in the old 2nd Edition Planescape setting, to which I am unreasonably devoted. I’m in the process of getting the campaign onto Obsidian Portal now.
What first brought you to GWJ? What keeps you coming back?
I lurked for a really long time before I joined the forum. I mostly read over Demiurge's shoulder and made fun of him for a few years before I finally broke down and made an account.
Now, GWJ is my social circle and water cooler more than anything else. Between the great road trip, PAX Prime, and other trips, I’m gunning to set a record for greatest number of forum members met/had beers with.
Is there a particular forum on GWJ that you frequent/favor? Why?
I have an office in the back of P&C since I spend so much time there. I do venture out into EE and even into the Games section, but those first two forums are 90% of my posting unless there’s a particular iOS/board game I’m into at the moment.
Why? Oh man. I think I’m reasonably impartial (lawful neutral!), and I like popcorn.
What is the story behind your handle?
I’m either clover or fieldsofclover almost everywhere on the internet. No exciting story to it, alas. I think it grew out of a high-school nickname.
What is the story behind your tag (If you answer this one, please insert your tag here, thanks.)?
It’s the Neutral Planet motto from Futurama. There were a few related contenders, but Dimmerswitch won in a photo finish.
Do you have any notable rivalries and/or friendships with someone on GWJ?
Demi! We’re like the White Stripes, except better-looking and more talented.
Also, the world should know that everyone on IRC is a horrible person. Except Goodjer. He’s horrible, just not a person.
I most recently had dinner with RubbEd and PhoenixRev, who are spectacularly fun company, and we love opening up our place for PAX Prime/post-PAX/Clovercon shenanigans, but we’d be here all night if I listed all the forum peeps who I wanted to chat up and host and game with. I’ve never met a Goodjer I didn’t like.
Thanks for taking the time to answer our hard-hitting questions! Any last words?
If I don’t make it, tell everyone... hello.