Wednesday, September 30, 2009

An Offer!

I'm really lucky that there's no web cam in my living room. Otherwise, everyone would have seen me doing an exceptionally silly-looking Happy Dance. In lobster pajama pants and a dust ruffle, no less. ;)

Hot on the heels of my last blog post talking about all the interviewing I did, I just got a call from my recruiter that the startup wants to extend me a job offer! So now, even if Amazon and Google don't give me an offer, I will have a job. So awesome!

One "wallows" in self-pity; on the other hand, what does one do with being pleased with oneself? I'm not sure, so I guess I'll have to just go wallow in it. :)


Forrest, Interviews, & LoCoWriMo

Forrest is Back!

Well, back in cell phone contact with the rest of the world, anyway. I pick him up tomorrow at the airport; so excited! I haven't seen him in nearly a month now. He says he had a good time, but I haven't heard all the interesting details of his trip yet.


Last week, I did an in-person interview with Jerry's team at Amazon, another in-person interview with a startup in Seattle, and a phone screen with Google. I never know how to judge whether the interviews went well; my feelings about them don't seem to correlate well with offer vs no-offer. So I'm hoping for the best but expecting the worst.

Amazon is having its team debrief meeting late this afternoon, so I should hear back from them by end of week. The startup is finishing up its interviews of all its scheduled candidate interviews today as well — two days ago I was still on their "short list" of picks. I should hear back from them, one way or another, soon too.

And I finally passed Google's phone screen! (I had done a phone interview just before graduating college, and they weren't interesting in moving forward then.) I have an in-person interview with Google this Friday. I should probably get over my "not good enough for Google" feelings if I want to do well on their interview, eh? ;)


Finally, you may have noticed a new progress bar in my blog's sidebar, just above my "NaNoWriMo participant" badge.

In addition to November's NaNoWriMo, where a bunch of ambitious/crazy internet folk try to write a 50,000-word novel(la) in a month, I'm also doing LoCoWriMo, where a bunch of ambitious/crazy conlanger folk try to write an original story completely in their respective conlangs in a month.

Because each person's conlang is at different levels of development and completeness, we each have a personalized word count goal. I timed myself at around 100 words per hours in Asha'ille, so my goal for October is 6000 words. If it turns out that, with practice, I start writing significantly faster, then I'll increase my word count goal.

At the stroke of midnight, I'm going to write as much as I can. That should give me some "buffer" slack-off time for the first couple days that Forrest is back in town.

Track my progress with the progress bar! :)


Monday, September 21, 2009

Español Adentro

So I'm currently on a practice-Spanish kick, which means I'm reading La Isla de la Pasión by Laura Restrepo (recommended to me by a Colombian woman I met in the library), watching Plutón BRB Nero (a sci-fi comedy TV show from Spain), and doing an email pen pal exchange with a programmer in Madrid.

The book helps with reading, the TV show with listening, but the pen pal guy is helping out with my production errors. I'm pretty verbose when I explain to him why his English errors are wrong, but he just highlights and corrects my mistakes without so much commentary. Fair enough; I don't expect anyone else to get so into explaining language mistakes. ;)

For myself, though, I'm going to research the why of the errors he's pointed out and document them here. I'm more likely to learn the lesson, so to speak, if I write it out here and try to "teach" it to others. Even if those others don't really exist; 'sokay. :P I trolled the WordReference forums for my info:

sólo parques adentro de la ciudad
I don't remember ever learning the distinction between adentro and dentro. Apparently, the former is used with verbs of motion; the latter is used in all other cases. In Spain, dentro is preferred even in some cases where Latin America would use adentro. [WR, DPD1, DPD2]
¿Cuáles Qué lenguajes usas en tu trabajo? Cuál es tu favorito?
The dreaded qué vs cuál distinction. *sigh* Cuál + ser and qué + noun are asking for a choice; qué + ser is asking for a definition. [WR, DPD1, DPD2]

Corrections and further explanations welcome.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

It Be That Day o' the Year

Me cat Marrrry celebrates Talk Like a Pirate Day with peg leg and eye patch. Amy is a wench and would not submit to such "celebrations."

This here blog, an' me own website be participatin' too, thanks to Yahoo speakin' Pirate for the Internets at large.

Yarrrrrrr! :)


Friday, September 11, 2009

No Amazon Offer

My Daily Stats
Exercise Food Spanish Writing Conlanging
Steps Calories Time Words Activities
15,900 1730 Pandora station (1-2 hours) Lhenazi font & keyboard layout

So 2 weeks after my last interview with Amazon, I finally heard back, and it's a no-go. :( I'll continue my search elsewhere. *sigh*


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Lhenazi Font & Eating Poorly

My Daily Stats
Exercise Food Spanish Writing Conlanging
Steps Calories Time Words Activities
5500 1050 ± 200 Lhenazi font

On Tuesday, I spent several hours at a cafe creating a handwritten script for my new conlang. Yesterday, I spent several hours at a cafe creating a font for my new conlang! I have some more cleanup work to do with it, but it's almost done already:

Basic Lhenazi Characters

After closing time, I walked over to Jerry's for some True Blood and Left 4 Dead. Vampires good, zombies bad. :) By the time we were done with that, it was like 2 AM and I bummed a ride home. Thus only 5k steps, whereas I probably would have had closer to 8k if I'd walked home too. Ah well, there's always tomorrow, as the old DDR machine says.

And about those calories... My "target" is 1200 calories per day. It may look like I did well yesterday... except that here's the list of healthy things I ate:

  • 3 slices of gouda
  • 6 oz milk
  • 12 oz mocha
  • molasses cookie
  • croissant
  • Mirror Pond pale ale
  • coffee w/cream & sugar

So yeah. Tasty, but not so good, eh? Damn Caffe Ladro and their bakery! It's out to get me, clearly. ;)


Handwriting for Lhenazi

My Daily Stats
Exercise Food Spanish Writing Conlanging
Steps Calories Time Words Activities
9,600 1400 ± 200 Lhenazi handwriting

I walked to Fremont Coffee yesterday evening and spent 2 hours there creating a writing system for my new conlang Lhenazi. It's a syllabary, which means that each "letter" is actually a consonant plus a vowel sound. So you can't write "t" by itself; you have to write "ta," "to," etc. This works well for languages that only allow simple syllable structures made up of consonant-vowel pairs. Once you start allowing complex clusters like English's "strengths," a syllabary just isn't going to cut it.

At 9 PM, Fremont Coffee closed and kicked me out. I asked the barista if there were any other cafes open later, but she said there weren't. I remembered a Tully's (one that their own website doesn't know about — strange, no?) on the way back home, so I walked over there to check it out. But it had closed at 9 too.

I called up my mom for Yelp "ground support" and discovered that Caffe Ladro has a location open until 11 PM across the street from Fremont Coffee. What a lying barista! ;) So I walked back to Caffe Ladro (I was walking for the exercise anyway...) and enjoyed myself some more time finishing up the script for Lhenazi. I also enjoyed me some delicious cranberry pecan muffin made at the> cafe. Mmm!

What took so long at these cafes? "Evolving" my syllabary! Syllabaries (and other writing systems, too) often come from little pictograms that eventually begin to stand for the sound of the item drawn instead of the item itself. So I developed my script by drawing little pictures for all 52 possible syllables, then wrote drew those pictures repeatedly until they "eroded" into abstract, simple shapes. It sounds tedious, but it was actually surprisingly fun. I did the whole thing in 4 hours!


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Conlanging & Dead Car

My Daily Stats
Exercise Food Spanish Writing Conlanging
Steps Calories Time Words Activities
13,700 too many Los Amantes del Círculo Polar (1:48h) 0
Lhenazi grammar (word order, possession, adjectives)

I went to bed late last night but still got up at 10:20 AM, when the sun got too annoying. I've intentionally left the blinds open to get me up, you see.

I worked on my new conlang Lhenazi, which I've been having a lot of fun with. It's a new language that belongs with my NaNoWriMo trilogy, and will suffer less from being created in the time before I had studied linguistics. I still love my old Asha'ille, but it definitely has its "because I like it" rather than "because it's linguistically sound" moments. ;)

Then Steve and I went over to Jerry's, where there was more conlanging (on my part, anyway), then pizza dough and taco pizza and zombies.

I walked to Jerry's and back, so that's how my 10k+ step goal was reached for the day. I really need to walk more, I says to myself. And Fate is listening! Fate says, okay, let's make your car stop running while you're in the middle of driving. That'll get you walking more. Helpful ol' Fate.

Forrest's off on his backpacking trip as of tomorrow, so he can't exactly fix my car for me. But Jerry says that he should have time to look at it on Wednesday. Hopefully it's something easily fixable...


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Kerning Error

Forrest is truly a horrible person for pointing out that the "Kern River" label on his map had a kerning error in it. *groan*