checkerIn January 2001, I attended an academic conferenece about electronic entertainment at USC in Los Angeles. While I was there, my boss called me on my mobile phone to tell me I had been laid off as "Director of Innovation" at Gamers.com. Returning to the event from my exit interview just out, I met Jen Pahlka leaving a long-winded presentation. We hit it off, talking about Oakland and travel and food. "You would really get along with my boyfriend" she decided.
I think it was my asking if she/they'd been to Thai brunch at a buddhist temple in Berkeley. They hadn't and so I believe that was our first meeting, in Spring 2001. In August 2001, he and I spent many hours sitting in the basement of a hotel together, talking to each other and strangers.
Her boyfriend (later husband) Chris is a brilliant loquatious fellow I found unafraid of applying methodical thinking to interpersonal issues. A great sense of humor, a hyperactive nature, a great curiousity for food and human experience.
He became one of my closest friends during the years I lived in Oakland; him and Jen moved close to me in Oakland. In 2002 I shared an antiqued barn office at Embarcadero Cove with him, Sean Barrett, Jon Blow and Charles Martin for a few months. That's where the first two Indie Game Jams were hosted; I was honored to serve as a gopher and chronicler for those events.
We've eaten an untold number of meals at Pho Hoa Hiep, and Chris likes to cook Frenchy sauces and meat at home. Mmmmm.
They have had a child; very photogenic child at that.