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2016 in Review

A lot of people have been saying that 2016 was awful, and yes, there was plenty of awful. Particularly a certain week in November. But there was a lot of wonderful too. Forthwith, my recap of my 2016.

In January, I got glasses! I also worked on Wildings copyedits and hosted a singing party.

In February, I revealed the cover for Wildings, trawled Hmong and Lao dictionaries for loanwords, and coordinated grad student Q & As with the computational linguistics job candidates.

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Celebrating Chandeleur

In March, my mother visited me for spring break, and we visited Mt. Wilson and went wildflower hunting. Then I took Trip #1 to the Bay Area to present a poster on Maragoli hiatus resolution at ACAL.

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Happy linguist amidst the echium at UCLA

In April, I went to AWP in Los Angeles, where I met Anne Ursu. I also went to the LA Times Festival of Books with Isabelle and to YALLWEST. It was a bookish month.

In May, Isabelle and I went to the magic show our conceptual artist had produced, and I spent a day shape note singing, fiddling, and stalking hurdy-gurdy players at the Topanga Banjo-Fiddle Contest. At the end of the month, I went home for my brother’s graduation from Count Olaf College, and I managed to catch my Morris dancer friends, in town for the Midwest Morris Ale, performing in a brewery!

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I also managed to catch my mother’s garden at the height of peony season!

In June, I took Trip #2 to the Bay Area, where I got to see my friends Miyuki, Andrew, Leland, and Katherine. I went to the Bay Area Book Festival and wandered around some of San Francisco with Leland. Back in Los Angeles, I attended the UCLA Linguistics Department’s 50th anniversary celebration and returned to the Mixed Remixed Festival, this time as a panelist.

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Datvebis Gundi performs before the anniversary banquet (that’s illustrious phonetician Ian Maddieson lurking in the background)

July: Did I do anything in July? In theory, I was being studious.

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There was a fire somewhere that made for interesting skies one day

In August, I went to a Georgian yodeling workshop and saw the Dunhuang cave temples exhibit at the Getty. Isabelle and I coached a tour guide in speaking our invented Martian English in our second collaboration with the conceptual artist. Martian English was featured at the Seattle Art Fair and even found its way into the New York Times, so I think we’ve made it. I returned to Minnesota, visited my friend Alex at Seed Savers in Decorah, IA, and went camping in the Boundary Waters.

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Adorable White Park calves, from a proud and ancient line of British cattle

In September, after enjoying the Minnesota State Fair, I returned to California for Trip #3 to the Bay Area. I saw the San Francisco Opera premiere Dream of the Red Chamber, visited Angel Island, Muir Woods, and Yosemite, and had all sorts of adventures, one of which involved Amtrak. I also acquired a copy of the Northern Harmony.

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In October, I went on Mike the Poet’s tour of downtown Los Angeles, which started at the LA Central Library and ended at the Last Bookstore. I started studying Manchu and presented a poster on Efik reduplication at AMP at USC.

On November 1st, Wildings came out! I had a launch party at Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul and spoke to students at my high school. Then I had a launch party at Children’s Book World in Los Angeles (which just turned 30!). In between those two parties was a devastating election. Fight on. At the end of the month, I hosted my first Friendsgiving.

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Autumn in Minnesota

In December, I had my radio debut on Minnesota Public Radio, ran an artificial language learning study, and acquired a hammered dulcimer from my friend Chase.

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Minnehaha Falls at the end of December

Happy New Year and onward!

Minnesota State Fair 2016

First, a bit of book news: Wildings received a review I’m quite pleased with from Kirkus!

I kept up my tradition of making it to the Minnesota State Fair every year I can. Here are some photos:

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I started off with the beer brat buddies

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Ukrainian eggs decorated by Luba Perchyshyn

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Lovely delphinium at the flower show in the Ag and Horticulture Building

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Minnesota food brands

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Kids in the Miracle of Birth Center

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Sheep in the Sheep Barn

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Cattle in the Cattle Barn

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There was once again a sad dearth of goats, just two rows of Boer goats in the Swine Barn. Clearly Read and Ride Day (i.e. library card discount day) does not coincide with goat judging. I may have to adjust my fairgoing strategy.

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Izzy’s Chocolate Agate Crunch with Church ‘Elder’ Berry Izzy scoop, from the Hamline Church Dining Hall

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Art in the Fine Arts Building

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A linotype machine! Like in Sparkers!

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Ethnic baking in Minnesota

And to finish, a trio of Minnesotas:

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U of M research center Minnesota

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Seed art Minnesota

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Type Minnesota

The Boundary Waters 2016

My family returned to the Boundary Waters this year, this time to Isabella Lake and environs. Here are some photos:

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35-rod portage into Isabella Lake

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The view from our campsite

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First sunset

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Curious chipmunk investigates hot chocolate, matches, and iodine tablets

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Bottle gentian on the Powwow Trail

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Second sunset

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Mergansers!

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Garter snake!

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A spectacular rainbow

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A misty last morning

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And then sun and still waters!

Wildflower Hunting

On Sunday, my mother, my roommate, and I drove to the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve hoping to see fields of blooming California poppies. There were actually very few poppies in the park. There were mostly a lot of fiddlenecks. But outside the park, at the corner of Munz Ranch Road and Elizabeth Lake Road, there was a hillside carpeted with orange and purple flowers. We parked on the side of the road and joined many other wildflower seekers in wandering among the poppies.

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The Joshua tree blooming outside the Antelope Valley visitor center

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California poppies and fiddlenecks at Antelope Valley

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One good-looking Antelope Valley poppy!

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A pygmy-leaved lupine on the flowering hillside

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Lacy phacelia

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So many more flowers here!

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Not sure what this is

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A nice poppy plant

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Poppies and fiddlenecks

England, Part I

I’m on vacation in England! Mostly in Oxford, but we’ve made some excursions. Photos, forthwith:

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In the courtyard of the Bodleian Library

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Tom Tower, Christ Church

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All Souls College

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Ceiling of the Divinity School

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The original conducting score of Messiah!

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Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Iffley

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Detail of beaks on the doorway of St. Mary’s

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Modern day thatching in Iffley, by the Rumpelstiltskin Thatching Company

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Christ Church (a.k.a Hogwarts?)

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Sheep on the Derwent moors, Peak District

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Me and Bismarck over the River Derwent

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Himalayan blue poppy, Hidcote

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Hidcote

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Cream tea (and elderflower and mint pressé)

The Clivia Show at the Huntington

This spring break, my family managed to replicate almost exactly this day from last year’s spring break, from Newport Seafood lobster to the Library Exhibition Hall, the Chinese and Japanese gardens, and the North American Clivia Society’s show at the Huntington.

Clivias are native to South Africa and resemble amaryllises. Their flowers range in color from red to orange to yellow to green. Here are some of my favorite specimens from the show:

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Look at that longitudinal variegation!

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Seed pods!

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