Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Most Interesting Couple In The World

Good evening.  I’m James, and I've been trying to live vicariously through Andrew ****** for several decades. Why? I’ve come to the conclusion that Andrew is the most interesting man in the world.

We met in 1990, as we moved into our dorm as college freshmen and we quickly became close friends. This friendship is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.

Let me tell you a few things about Andrew that I think are interesting:

  • “Hi, my name’s Andrew” with a hand offered is a magic incantation that can open any door.
  • Andrew can name all the imperial admirals from the Empire Strikes Back.  
  • Andrew can climb rocks, as well as jump off rocks into lakes.  He knows how to set up my camping equipment much better than I do.
  • Andrew can tell you the tradeoffs in various computer architectures, and how best to virtualization computer systems.
  • Andrew has read the book you’re reading, and can tell you two others that you should read.
  • Once when we were meandering through a used bookstore, and I asked a question about Gandalf.  Without hesitation, he picked up a copy of a nearby book and turned straight to the page that explained about the wizards (or, rather the five Maiar spirits).
  • Andrew told a friend that the book Dune was based on a haiku.
  • Andrew tried to convince the dorm cafeteria that he should to walk around and dispense fresh pepper from a huge pepper grinder.
  • He had theories about the proper order to watch Star Wars before that was a thing on the internet.
  • He went through a phase where he talked about the tv show the OC a lot.
  • Andrew is an amazing cook. He made sure I got the Joy of Cooking, as it includes directions on skinning game.
  • He left his suburban enclave and quickly became a big city guy. I helped him move into his first place in the city, and I was worried for him. But he proved me very wrong.
  • Andrew taught me how to brunch like a professional, where the conversation “should be desultory and topical. Nothing serious should be discussed before the drinks come.” 
  • He knows more and can synthesize material to make fascinating observations about the world.

Things Andrew can’t do well?  Card games.  His joke delivery could use a little work.  I have seen Andrew make some terrible decisions, but I can honestly say they were interesting choices.

Another way that Andrew is interesting?  He gathers amazing people.  His call of, "Hey, you should come over" has led to great parties which I have many wonderful memories from, hanging out with interesting people and eating fabulous food.

On the recent bachelor trip to Zion, I got to meet some more of his friends.  Quickly, I was outmatched by the depth and breadth of knowledge of this crew.  How do Lean and Agile work together?  Some comparison between Thailand and Spain.  Something about wine.  Something about football strategy. The difference between a mini-scramble and a micro-scramble. Andrew has amazing friends.

I’ve always told my kids that they should strive to be interesting.  I'm proud that they get good grades, but I want them to them to be able to lead interesting conversations and combine disparate bits of information to make a new thought, and be funny and charming.  When I tell them to be interesting, what I’m actually telling them is to be like Andrew.

Now Andrew is married.

Some of us didn’t think he’d ever do it.  After all, he is very busy being interesting and living the dream.  Why would he make a dramatic change like this?  

The answer is clear.  Because, of course, he fell in love with the most interesting woman in the world.  Ameena, I raise a toast to you.  You are obviously amazing, and the two of you are wonderful together.

I wish you years of adventures and deep conversations and goofy grins.  And brunch.