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NotW #3: Tanhìyärina'

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Tanhìyärina':
1.  Who are you?

I’ve gone by many things online.  Tanhìyärina' is just the latest in my many pseudonyms.  I took it from a name I was given at camp—I’m getting ahead of myself.

I’m a doctor.  Yep, a family practice physician, in residency.  I live in the great state of Minnesota (say it with me, everyone, with big round O’s!) on the shore of Lake Superior, but originally I’m from the Milwaukee area.  I’m 29, but routinely get told I don’t look old enough to be a doctor.  Eh, I don’t mind.  ;)

I routinely work 80 hours per week—it’s the new limits, don’t’cha know.  (I do a pretty good imitation of a Fargo accent.)  Only 30 hours for any one given shift, and only 80 per week on average over four weeks.  I wish I could be on learnnavi.org more often, but I think you see now why my post count is so low…

Thank goodness for the iPhone.  The hospital computer system is very strict and doesn’t even let me check my email.  I’m just waiting for the day it recognizes the forums here as a “social networking site,” which is what it likes to call most blocked things.

I’m happily engaged to my partner of nearly 12 years.  The only reason we’re not married is that we live nine hours apart while he finishes his PhD and I do residency.  Plus, we’re both way too busy, see above.

Now, about the name.  I’m generally a private person, and this is, I think, the most I’ve ever shared online in any one place.  I went to Japanese camp through Concordia Language Villages lo these many years ago, and chose the name Sanae for myself.  One of our instructors gifted me with the kanji (Chinese characters, intricate little things) for my name, and they mean “early seedling.”  Without a word for “early” in the beginning, I thought that “star’s seed” (because I love stars too) would be a fine translation.


2. Why are you here?

From early ads, I could have sworn that Avatar was going to be the best video game ever on a system I don’t own.  But it was a movie!  I saw it and loved it.  The world is gorgeous, and a whole language made just for the movie?  I’ve always loved constructed languages.  I tried learning Esperanto for a while, and I know a couple phrases (not much!) in Quenya.  Or maybe Sindarin.  They never tickled my fancy as much as Na’vi did. 

I can’t remember how I found this site.  I think I was probably looking for information about it—and I know I read the Language Log post on nytimes.com, so maybe that’s what prompted the googling.  But I got in early, or at least I think so, and spend a ton of time here—mostly lurking, but occasionally posting.

I’m also playing in Storm Over Pandora (link coming later!) here on the Role Play forum, and it’s phenomenal.  Has kept me coming back for more, definitely.  But the reason behind it all is the Na’vi language.


3.  Where do your alias and profile pic come from?

Oh, hmm.  I answered that in question 1, the first part.  The pic I used is from the “make yourself into an avatar” online widget.  It’s not the best pic, but it works.  I think I look rather stern, but smiling on that thing is just scary!


4.  Srak nga tsun nìna’vi pivlltxe?

Only a little!  I practice, though, wandering in the hospital hallways in the middle of the night, after I’ve gotten paged because someone wants something, or there’s a new patient in, or or or.  It’s fun to practice ejectives when you’re upset about being called out of bed just as you were about to fall asleep!

How did my family and friends react?  They know I have myriad hobbies, and when something catches my fancy, I run with it.  They were amused, but my dad has started saying “’Ivong Na’vi!” in his emails to me!  My partner thinks it’s just one of my quirks, but a cute one, thankfully.  My colleagues laughed at me, but a couple of them asked some more.  I’m not sure if anyone made it on here, but I did give out the website a couple times.  And I made a silicone bracelet that reads 'Ivong Na'vi! and I wear it when I don't have to wash my hands all the time, aka when I'm not at work.


5.  What’s your favorite Na’vi word?  Do you incorporate it (or others) into your everyday vocab?

Hmm, that’s a good one.  I like a lot of the words.  Perhaps I like atokirina’ best, because the seeds of the great tree are poetically gorgeous.  When I talk about Avatar, I do use Na’vi pronunciation-- it’s fun to say “ikran” the way it’s supposed to be said, and “palulukan” rolls off the tongue nicely.

“Oel ngati kameie” is also fun to say, and I murmur that a lot to myself.

I wish I had occasion to use Na’vi more often… but I have taken to hissing when I don’t like something, a la Neytiri standing over Jake’s uniltìrantokx, and that is very satisfying.


6.  In your opinion, what are the top three user-created content [items] on the website?

I love Taronyu’s dictionary!  Someday I’m going to make it through the all-Na’vi version.  I also really adore the wikibook on Na’vi.  It’s my go-to resource for grammar.  And I have to give a shout out to Storm over Pandora and the awesome RPers and story going on there!


7.  Have you made any contributions to the LN community that you’re particularly proud of?

As a matter of fact, I have.  I consider myself a very crafty person.  I’ve thought of a couple ways to replicate Jake’s choker (the fiber one, not the beads-on-leather one, though I know how to do that too) and a way to get the insect wing look on Neytiri’s visor.  I’m so proud that I was able to share that with the community!


8.  What is it that you liked/hated most about Avatar?

The scenery was gorgeous.  Flat-out gorgeous.  3D was worth the migraine it gave me, to see the atokirina’ flying around my head.  Wow, what a rich world!  The colors, the sounds.  It felt like I was really there!

The dialogue could have been better.  Genders could have been reversed.  (Jackie Sully and Netrr, anyone?)  And I wish they’d made an obvious reference to how “unobtanium” was a self-aware joke.

Okay, I’ve only seen it three times.  But I rented it (waiting for the full version with extras, and don’t have a blu ray player) and can’t wait to watch it again on my day off tomorrow!


9.  Has Avatar changed your life in any way?

Oh, good one.  It’s made me like my naturally pointy incisors more.  It’s given me a bit of confidence, to pretend I’m a Na’vi when I’m walking down the hallway.  I think I carry myself with more authority when I pretend I’m a fierce Na’vi tsamsiyu with a necklace of sawtute teeth on and a bow across my back.  (Ask Coyote.)  And ten feet tall.  Let me tell you, being not quite five feet tall is pretty rough sometimes.  Ten feet may be worse, at least on this planet.  But I can still imagine myself tall, blue, and fiercely handsome.


10.  If you could ask Frommer or Cameron three movie or language related questions what would they be?

1) Mr. Cameron, is the gender divide between olo’eyktan and tsahìk set in stone?  Do they need to be mated?

2) Mr. Frommer, can we please have words for cold and snow and other northerly things?  The climate up here is pretty un-Pandoran—at least the parts of Pandora we’ve seen.

3) Speaking of which, Mr. Cameron, are there polar regions (I think there are?) and are there Na’vi who live there?  What do they wear?

I’ll come up with better ones when I’m not worried about my pager going off, promise.


11.  What else do you do in your free time?

Usually I say, “Free time?  What free time?” and cackle maniacally.  But in all honesty, I do beadwork (intricate stuff!), I knit, crochet, do macrame, have dabbled in mosaic; I read and write—National Novel Writing Month is November, and in 2008 I wrote a novel!  In 30 days!  Come write with me: nanowrimo.org.  I play silly video games, mostly nonviolent ones, or at least ones that combat only involves smashing a button repeatedly.  I didn’t grow up playing console games, so I feel at a disadvantage, but… I love the stories in some of the RPGs out there.  I really wish the Avatar game had been better…

I also play music.  I was a music major in college, in composition, but my main instrument was the harp.  I’ve also played violin, piano, cello, baglama/saz, tin whistle, bodhran, and didgeridoo.  I really want to learn to play the sitar someday.  And the lute.

Early music (1600s and before) is my favorite!  Monteverdi’s opera “Orfeo” is heartbreakingly gorgeous, and a lot of fun… before he lost steam in the second act. 

Speaking of steam, I like steampunk and am dabbling with that in my beadwork lately.  Combination Na’vi-steampunk might be very cool—I like trying to add a naturalistic element to all the gears.  (Before Avatar, I called it “dryad punk,” but…)

Apparently, I also go off on tangents in my free time.  :)


12.  Name your top three favorite Earth animals from most favorite to least. Why those? What's the animal you're most terrified of?

1) Wombat.  CUTE!  So cuddly looking, I wish they were actually cuddly…  (Sugar gliders are made of squee, too.)

2) Raccoon.  My grandfather gave me a stuffed raccoon instead of a teddy bear when I was two, and it’s always been one of my favorite animals.

3) Bear.  They always seemed so strong, are protective of their young… hmm… maybe penguins next?  They’re made of some strong stuff too.  Or cranes!  Whooping cranes or otherwise… moose are really awesome, I’m waiting to see one in person.

What I’m terrified of… actually, I don’t like bugs.  They’re fine if they’re outside, but in my apartment, if I see one near my bed, I can’t sleep at night.  Just the thought of them crawling on me while I’m sleeping…


13.  Pirate, ninja, zombie, or robot?

Probably ninja.  Stealthy, dexterous, skilled, and mysterious.  Pirates are too trendy, and zombies just eat brains.  Robots could be cool, but they’re mechanical… then again, that might be a point in their favor.


14.  What three items would you take to a desert island and why?

1) Probably craft supplies.  Have to pass the time somehow!  If you made me choose one, beads.

2) iPod.  Music makes me happy.

3) A comfortable bed.  (Hmm, is my profession showing?)


15.  If you could travel to anywhere in space and time (including fictional universes), where would you go and why?

Could I please just have a TARDIS? 


16.  If you were granted one single wish what would it be?

Peace on earth—real, true, lasting peace.  The rest can come from there.


17.  What is a question you'd ask yourself? How would you answer it?

“How do you do it?  All the work, the hobbies, the demands.  How do you survive?”

I don’t know, honestly.  Momentum?  I’ll get back to you.


18.  True or false?

1) I can fit into most airplane overhead compartments-- and I've gotten in one to prove it.

2) I'm a published author-- of scientific articles and a comic book.

3) I once had to strip and use the safety shower because of, how do I put this for the more squeamish among us, an incident in the operating room.


19.  What is the funniest, weirdest, or most embarrassing Na’vi or Avatar related thing that has happened to you?

I was screwing up my courage to tell one of my colleagues (after a delicious sushi dinner) that I was learning Na'vi.  Really, it's an unusual hobby, especially for super busy, stressed-out people with Important Things to memorize.  (Is the sarcasm dripping heavily enough there?)  Finally, I stammered it out: "Have you seen Avatar?"  Yes.  "Well *nervous laugh* I'm learning Na'vi [said with the perfect glottal stop!], the language that was created for the movie."  He replies, "Oh yeah, I heard."

What??  I told one person!  One!  *sigh*  News travels fast around here.  (Okay, it's not much.  But I'll probably have better stories in the future.)


20.  Rolyu's question: If you could jump from any height and land painlessly, but do it only once, what would you jump of off?  What would your landing spot be on/in? Why?

I think I'd jump off a plane, because I'd want the jump to last as long as possible.  If we're on Eywa'eveng, clearly I'd jump off the highest peak of Iknimaya.  I'd love to see all the floating mountains and waterfalls that drifted off into thin air.  And I'd land just above the ground on the back of my ikran!

On 'Rrta, however, I think I might fall-- oh, forget the plane!  I'd jump from the moon and fall through space, past satellites, through clouds, down beside Mt. Everest and land on a plain in Tibet.  I think the sweeping vistas would be a beautiful place to make a soft landing.  Or, better yet, I'd just see the Himalayas while falling and land in the middle of Qinghai Lake.  Gorgeous!  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qinghai_Lake

Or, wait, if we're on Eywa'eveng, can I fall from Polyphemus instead?  That planet is gorgeous.  (What do the Na'vi call it, anyway?)


Let me also say I'm honored to be asked to be NotW.  Wow!  I never thought little me would be asked... I hope I get to know a lot of you over this week!

Coyote:
WOOOAH!  ;D Awesome! Congrats on getting the spotlight!

The thought of a Na'vi with a Fargo accent just seems so... hilariously wrong. But then it gets me thinking, what if a Avatar driver was a Southerner? A Na'vi being all, "Kal-tee, y'all" like Sawyer from "Lost" talking Na'vi... I may have to remember that for the RP, but then I already have Avatars talking in Hebrew amongst themselves. Heh!


I'd love to see pictures of your necklaces and bracelets sometime. That would rock.


 

tsrräfkxätu:
Dr. Stardust (tee hee hee) to the rescue!

This was most entertaining – I can barely wait to read the rest! You are an amazingly versatile tute! I'm sooo glad you could jump in! I always knew I'd owe you one, but now I owe you two. Cheers! :D

Also, sleep tight!






(Haha, gotcha! A ninja never sleeps. Ever. In fact, a ninja never even closes her eyes. Only one at a time. And then only to draw a bead.)

Tanhìyärina':
Thanks, Coyote and tsrräfkxätu!

I don't actually have a thick Fargo accent-- just a little midwestern roundness to the vowels.  But I can imitate one quite well.

That said, here are the rest of my answers, placed here and edited into the first post for completeness' sake.

18.  True or false?

1) I can fit into most airplane overhead compartments-- and I've gotten in one to prove it.

2) I'm a published author-- of scientific articles and a comic book.

3) I once had to strip and use the safety shower because of, how do I put this for the more squeamish among us, an incident in the operating room.


19.  What is the funniest, weirdest, or most embarrassing Na’vi or Avatar related thing that has happened to you?

I was screwing up my courage to tell one of my colleagues (after a delicious sushi dinner) that I was learning Na'vi.  Really, it's an unusual hobby, especially for super busy, stressed-out people with Important Things to memorize.  (Is the sarcasm dripping heavily enough there?)  Finally, I stammered it out: "Have you seen Avatar?"  Yes.  "Well *nervous laugh* I'm learning Na'vi [said with the perfect glottal stop!], the language that was created for the movie."  He replies, "Oh yeah, I heard."

What??  I told one person!  One!  *sigh*  News travels fast around here.


20.  Rolyu's question: If you could jump from any height and land painlessly, but do it only once, what would you jump of off?  What would your landing spot be on/in? Why?

I think I'd jump off a plane, because I'd want the jump to last as long as possible.  If we're on Eywa'eveng, clearly I'd jump off the highest peak of Iknimaya.  I'd love to see all the floating mountains and waterfalls that drifted off into thin air.  And I'd land just above the ground on the back of my ikran!

On 'Rrta, however, I think I might fall-- oh, forget the plane!  I'd jump from the moon and fall through space, past satellites, through clouds, down beside Mt. Everest and land on a plain in Tibet.  I think the sweeping vistas would be a beautiful place to make a soft landing.  Or, better yet, I'd just see the Himalayas while falling and land in the middle of Qinghai Lake.  Gorgeous!  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qinghai_Lake

Or, wait, if we're on Eywa'eveng, can I fall from Polyphemus instead?  That planet is gorgeous.  (What do the Na'vi call it, anyway?)

Coyote:
I was thinking, "If someone asked me the jumping question, I'd do that funky high-altitude jump suit thing and jump from the ISS". But I think the Moon is better. Imagine the coolness you'd see!

Jumping on Pandora would be a blast. I'd go to Iknimaya and water-slide down one of those waterfalls and jump to the surface.

As for the true and false, I think the true one is the hospital emergency shower one. Although I could see the other two.

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