Like Sarah, I don’t really remember how I met Cindy. She just kind of appeared one day at AOL and I got sucked into the Cindy Li Vortex of Fun Adventures. My favorite Cindy story of all-time was how the “Geeks Love *” shirt happened. Cindy, Jason and I were at lunch and I were at lunch one day after I’d spent all morning interviewing developers for a contract position. I’d quizzed them all about web standards and they’d all failed to some degree, except one smug guy who said, “Yeah, we’re really anal about standards, because, you know, geeks love anal.” I looked up from the notes I was writing and said, “That’s going on a t-shirt.” The guy was mortally embarrassed and let his less-smug partner talk the rest of the meeting. Telling Cindy and Jason the story, we all decided that it really did need to become a t-shirt and we all laughed way too loud when we came up with the design.
I didn’t really think we’d ever make it into an actual t-shirt, but Cindy has a way of taking silly ideas and seeing them through to their silliest and most effective conclusion. She took our stupid t-shirt idea and ran with it. When I saw the entire first two rows of her panel at SxSW full of our shirts, I was in awe, but not really surprised, because that’s what Cindy is. She is a vortex of love, and fun, and whimsy, and adventure, and you’re not just along for the ride, you’re an integral part of it. I don’t think anyone who knows Cindy thinks they’re anything less than 100% included and in on the joke, and that’s a rare and beautiful thing.