The Space Needle

Nov 11 2004

Here it is, the famous symbol of Seattle. I passed right under it on my way to the Halo 2 private launch party at the Science Fiction Museum. Hm, I guess it’s time to tell you the story of Shishka. Way back in 1998ish, I had just discovered an online comic-art community called [yoU aRe Drawing!][1]. There I met a guy from Alaska, who went by the name of Shishka. For some reason we got along quite well, talked quite often, and sent each other our drawings. He’s one of the main reasons I started playing Xenogears, which became my favorite game of all time. He convinced me to stop buying dubbed Evangelion tapes and to go for the subtitled ones instead; this indirectly led to my interest in the Japanese language, which pretty much shaped the last five years of my life. Now I’m here in Seattle, working a job I always wanted, and I’m kind of in charge of that little yoU aRe Drawing! thing. I hadn’t talked to Shish much in the past couple of years, and was only vaguely aware of his situation. Then, one night, I got one of the weirdest phone calls of my life. A strange voice asked “do you know who this is?” It was Shishka. He’d moved to Seattle, and had visited my apartment that very day, but I wasn’t there. Apparently he’d been in Seattle for a while; he moved here and within 48 hours had a job at the legendary [Bungie][2]. Yeah, the Microsoft-owned guys who released one of the most anticipated games of all time just yesterday. We’ve gotten together a couple of times since then and re-became friends, this time in real life. Anyway, Shishka’s role at Bungie includes being a fan-community relations guy, which means he gets to fly around the country to big LAN parties and conventions and such being a Halo celebrity. The night of Halo 2’s launch, he was to work at the crazy fan event and following private Bungie event. Our long-time mutual online friend Hitomi from California, Shishka’s best buddy Rayme from Alaska, and I, were invited. I drove over to Seattle Center and made my way to the Science Fiction Museum. On the way there I ran into a blackjack dealer who was looking for the same building so that he could deal at some _other_ Microsoft party that was going on at the same time. We looked for the building together, and for some reason he ended up telling me about the Biblical screenplay he’s working on. Whatever. Before going into the place and meeting up with everyone for a raucous good time, I captured this moment. [1]: [2]: