Ex-DMV worker is talk of the linguistic world
If you tend to stereotype California state workers or know someone who does, refer them to "Utopian for Beginners," a Dec. 24 story in the New Yorker about John Quijada, a former Department of Motor Vehicles employee who spent decades creating a new language.
Writer Joshua Foer weaves Quijada's life story into a 9,000-word tale of how he gains notoriety among linguists and then loses control of his invention, called Ithkuil.
At one point in the narrative, Quijada describes explaining to his DMV managers in Sacramento that he is a conlanger a person who invents language and that he's been asked to speak at a conference in Kalmykia in the Russian federation.
"People at work now held me in some sort of state of half awe, because this guy obviously has more going on in his head than being a manager at this dopey state agency, and half in contempt, because I've now proved myself to be beyond whatever state of geekery they might have previously thought about me," Quijada said in the magazine piece.
" 'You're a what? A con man?' 'No, boss, a conlanger.' "
Among the campaign expenses listed this year by the California Department of Forestry Firefighters Small Contributor PAC, two independent expenditures totaling $10,500 reflected a longtime grudge. The group unsuccessfully opposed El Dorado Superior Court Judge Warren Stracener's re-election bid. Stracener had worked for the Schwarzenegger administration helping shape furlough strategy.
"Will this year be the one where the karate kids finally defeat the special-interest champs?"
ASSEMBLYMAN MIKE GATTO, D-Los Angeles, whose previous proposals to reform California's ballot initiative process have faced an uphill battle, writing in the Glendale News-Press