Weekend stuff... - Fluorescent Dreams Wax Cylinders
25th of April, 2006
18:08 - Weekend stuff...
What I did this weekend.
Jane Lindskold and Jim Moore
I advertised that Jane Lindskold and Jim Moore were coming to the Bay Area. On Saturday, I went to Jane's talk and reading at Borderlands Books.
Jane Lindskold's talks are as broad as her research. She answered questions about writing, her world-building, the end of the Firekeeper Saga, and a bit about her new series. (Her new series sounds like an unconscious tribute to Roger Zelazny: it's about how the game of Mah-Jongg created the world.)
I spent almost as much time talking with her husband, Jim Moore, about archaeology in his part of New Mexico, old computers, and current events. Like Jane, he's well-read and broad-minded, with a clear and sharp mind. I'm proud to have met this wonderful couple.
A third person, Gordon Garb, joined us for dinner. Some of you will recognize Gordon's name from his work with Bubonicon. Others will recognize his creation of The Dreamery and other very early furry fanzines. Still others may know him for his work with science fiction authors. (Several novels are dedicated to him.) He's been an Apple evangelist, and he's held several other P.R. positions. But his current hobby fascinated me: he works with Precious Metal Clay.
Precious Metal Clay looks like Sculpie, can be formed, twisted, and manipulated like Sculpie, and is otherwise indistinguishable from Sculpie to the artist. When it's baked in a kiln, the sculpie-like clay burns off to reveal... 99.9% pure silver or gold. It's a fascinating way to create silver jewelry.
We took Jane, Jim, and Gordon to the Ethiopian restaurant two doors down. Neither Jane nor Jim had ever eaten Ethiopian before; Jane joked that she had been in Firekeeper's frame of mind for so long that it's natural for her to eat with her hands. They loved it.
From there, to further expand their palates, we walked to an Indian ice cream shop. Jane had never enjoyed mango ice cream before... and the rest of us had even more exotic flavors. (I grew very fond of my fig and almond ice cream.)
A wonderful day, indeed!
First Language Creation Conference
Sunday was the First Language Creation Conference. This was the first conference devoted to conlangers -- the people who, in their spare time, create a grammar, vocabulary, metaphors, culture, and more.
Yes, the conference overflowed with nerds.
The speakers were very good, demonstrating tricks of language that I had not considered. The tricks of language went into very subtle questions. ("If the sun is out, it's giving off light. If a fire is out, it's not shining. How come?")
Best translated phrase, "If you tell me not to be angry one more time, I'll bite your other eye out."
Most proud moment: Sai Emrys (saizai), who ran the conference, looked at my keyboard. "You type Dvorak? How useless, you nerd!"
Most strange conversation: I used my Livejournal user name on my namebadge. One fellow walked up to me:
Him: What language is 'Chipuni' in?
Me: Oh, it's English. It's the name 'Chip' with an abbreviation of 'Unicorn'.
Him: How did you abbreviate 'Unicorn'?
Me (thinking this was strange): Errr... it's the first three letters. Yoo-En-Eye.
Him: Oh. (The gears in his head went round one or two times.) What language is 'Chip' in?
Me: Errrr... English. It's a nickname for 'Charles'.
Him: (Slowly dawning Revelation!) Oh, you're Charles the Unicorn. Hello!
My biggest regret was missing the Make fair. Maybe next year...
Take care, all.