Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My Friends are Awesome: Eric

My mom calls him the nice blond boy from my wedding.I knew who he was before we starting hanging out, but we didn't really become friends until I went on a beach trip with Dave and two friends of his. "Wait, Corrina's dating who?" I actually first knew of him as "That guy from the hippie store", because he managed a little kiosk in the mall, with its Bob Marley shirts and rainbow knit caps.

Shortly after we became friends, he had an interview at the Babbage's in the mall. "If I get it, I'll just stick around long enough to show I can hold down a job."

He held it down for more than a decade until moving on to other things. Eric has the skills needed to be a really good manager. He's much less tolerant of bullshit than I am. I'll hem and haw endlessly, but Eric will act decisively when the situation requires it.

He has an incredibly broad range of knowledge and boundless enthusiasm for everything he does. He's a really smart guy, but his mind works in such a profoundly different way than mine that I find him an endless source of fascination. One time, I was at his room in a house he shared with a couple other people, babbling on about Marvin Minsky, in whom I had recently taken an interest, and gushing in particular about his book Society of Mind, which I had been unable to find. Without missing a beat, Eric crossed to his bookshelf and produced a copy of Society of Mind. How awesome is that?!

One of my fondest memories is Eric showing up with a copy of the newly released Tekken 2 at our apartment one day, and playing it all night and sitting out on the rooftop. (This memory reminds me of a line from a Kimya Dawson song ("Maybe I'll play Tekken 2 all alone again hold down select and then laugh at big heads.") He used to show up with the leftover pretzels that Auntie Ann's was going to throw out when they closed up for the night.

He's a gamer, and though our tastes differ somewhat, he's always made an effort to show his friends what they might enjoy about the games that he likes. (And likewise, he's willing to sample games that fall outside his range of experience.) He organized our outing to I-con, which was one of my best weekends ever. He's a dad with cool tattoos for each of his kids. He popularized my "autistic robot" phrase. Other than Greg, he's my only friend who will talk Shakespeare with me. His favorite movie is The Lion in Winter, which is just all kinds of awesome.

The thing I like most about him is that he's always thinking of his friends. Whenever I see Eric, he's always got something cool to show me or tell me. He's just a fun guy to be around.

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