Ad Conventionem Nerdorum Ii

MacAvity's picture

Salvete amici omnes! Vobis moneo, I'm going to be switching randomly back and forth inter Latinam et English this whole journal. Expecto longum fore, quoque...


I probably won't be able to read all that happened while I was away, either. Ah well. Anyway...

On Friday morning, ego et Alta (Alta est Regi) pervenimus octo hora for the bus ride, and were the only ones there, because for some unknown reason, everyone else knew that we didn't have to be there until eight forty-five or so. So Regi was annoyed, but not seriously so. Et ceteri pervenit tandem.

So there were about forty nerds (thirty-eight students, Mr Latin Teacher, one other teacher, and two moms who may not count as nerds) on a bus from here to Orinda, and we were all excited, and nerdly, and generally having fun. Regi scire voluit de iuvenibus - cur perveniunt ante puellas, why two of them sleep on the floor when four of them are assigned to a room with two beds, why some (like her boyfriend) grow thick beards but lack what Leaena calls the 'carpet of virility' - id est, chest hair. Et cetera. Leaena called her an 'anthropologist.' Few of her questions were satisfactorily answered. We did manage to question several boys, one of whom joked, 'Oh, we're all four going to share one bed! To make it easier for the maid, you know, so she doesn't have to make both beds in the morning.'

At some point, Leaena started to hold a random brass goblet, which she had brought for reasons unknown, super caput Altae, quae ignarissima erat. This went on for a very long time, maybe ten minutes. Regi suspected nothing. Pretty much the whole back of the bus was cracking up, and poor Regi had no idea why.

That must have been after the fork escapade. At lunch - pizza ceteris nobis, sed Alta pizzam non amat - Regi went and got herself another fork, not knowing that she already had one. When she returned, she found her fork already there and got super confused and blamed us for stealing it and then returning it, even though it was pretty clear that she had just overlooked it. She got more and more annoyed - and we more and more amused - for several minutes, during which time we took both her forks and then tried to pretend that we could still see them, which failed miserably, because we were just cracking up. Then, right when Regi was starting to believe that maybe the fork had been there all along, Leaena admitted that she had taken Regi's first fork and returned it, which surprised me, and annoyed Regi even more.

Also on the bus ride we talked about - among other things - prom, and costumes (there's a conspiracy afoot to get Regi's boyfriend, the one we shall call the Compickle - after Regi's embarrassing nickname for him, which she made by combining the words 'ickle' and 'compadre' - to go as the Phantom of the Opera), et quis ibit quacum (ego et Leaena ibimus una, it has been formally decided). And genderbending - Leana said that if she were going 'with an actual boy,' she would wear a tuxedo and make him wear the dress. And how I don't have enough gender to crosdress or else I would.

And eventually Regi fell asleep on my lap. I'm amazed that Leaena didn't take any photos of that, as she's always taking embarrassing or 'incriminating' photos of Regi and joking that she'll send them to the Compickle. Most of her photos are just of Regi yawning or making dweeby faces, but she could have gotten some more 'incriminating' ones of Regi sleeping with her face pretty much in my crotch and her shirt pulled up to expose her whole midriff. The Compickle would not have been pleased - Regi says that he's suspicious enough about what she does with me and Leaena. Heheheh.

Regi would actually be a pretty good freakazoid if she weren't genuinely at-least-mostly straight. She's got the long blond hair, the general weirdness, the strong enjoyment of snuggling with girls, a (pretty mild) hair fetish, et cetera. But closet-case-hood is a pretty important criterion of freakazoid-hood, so Regi doesn't qualify...

Leaena says that Regi's relationships have all the makings of a Greek tragedy. She's 'married' to one person (Leaena herself - they were the couple in the annual Roman wedding of Latin III, the first same-sex marriage Mr Latin Teacher ever performed) and 'cheating on her' with who-all-knows-how-many others: the Compickle, most obviously, but she also has a very affectionate relationship with her cat, sleeps in my bed at the hotel and on my lap on the bus, and may or may not have a locket with a picture of a fictional character called Ten, with whom she and Leaena are both obsessed. And we don't know exactly whether there are other paramours. And then her 'husband' Leaena is going to prom with me, and in one of those games-girls-play-on-bus-rides-wherein-future-spouses-are-chosen-by-the-whim-of-chance-and-of-the-other-girls it was determined that Regi will end up marrying our classmate Tacitus (and living with him and their negative-one children - we assumed that this means that the firstborn they don't have is owed to Rumpelstiltskin - and their pet Dalek or somesuch....). Anyway...

Yes, we arrived at the convention (I've given up randomly writing in Latin by this point I think), registered ourselves and our artwork and suchlike, and then a large number of nerds - perhaps one-and-a-half or two thousand - crowded into Miramonte High School's gymnasium and listened to people say things in which some of the nerds were interested and most not, and then I think we went to our academic tests. I tried to take Pentathlon first, but all the rooms were full or out of tests so I and some middle-schoolers and a cute girl in garish green pants were left to find a way to take a test and not lose our opportunities for honor and glory. I don't know what happened to the middle-schoolers, but Green Pants Girl (her name was Veronica) and I went and took the Mottoes test, which was pretty easy, although I was surprised to learn that I took first place on it. Then I went back to Pentathlon, which turned out to be wicked hard. I must have guessed on about eighty percent of the questions but still ended up taking Honorable Mention.

So eventually Regi and Leaena and Leaena's Sister and I all met back together and nerded around for the rest of the evening... There was dinner, which might have been was before the tests, and it was good.... At some point in the night Leaena found a random spear-type-thing on the ground and made a really kind of lame but completely unexpected and therefore funny joke that only Latin nerds would understand: She held it up with a humorously threatening facial expression and said, in complete cornball voice, 'Hasta la vista!' - hasta is Latin for 'spear,' you see. And there were swordfights in the quad, and there was a sort of horrible 'dance' in the cafeteria, and I sort of danced with Green Pants Girl but not very with-like.

And... there was the opportunity to go to various educational lectures, but we did not take that opportunity, because we were having too much fun on our own... Plus last year we went to some lectures and they were all about boobs. The first one was about ancient novels, but has been forevermore renamed 'The Boobage Lecture' because all the illustrations of the lecturer's PowerPoint presentations contained women who were clothed but not on their breasts, for no apparent reason. Then every lecture we visited after that had a picture of boobage too. Regi wanted to escape the boobage, but couldn't. Boobage probably wasn't a real reason we didn't go to any lectures this year, but we didn't.

I did find the lost name tag of a kid with a very Italian name. Leaena wanted me to be Marco Fanducchi for the rest of the convention, but I turned in the tag to the Lost and Found lest poor Marco go without breakfast - Mr Latin Teacher has drilled it into us far too often that 'If you don't have your name tag, you can't take your tests and you can't get your meals and you can't blah blah blah ... So do you all have your name tags? Everybody make sure you have your name tags, now.... blah blah blah....'

Ah well. Even though I didn't get a name tag that says my name is Marco, I still 'passed' for the whole convention, to everyone outside my school, simply by hiding my own name tag with my girl name inside my shirt. Passing for that long and to so many people felt really good.

Um... well, ultimately we ended up back at the hotel and figured out toga-tying and talked about who-knows-what because that's what people do when rooming together, blah blah blah I probably don't need quite this detailed of documentation...

...Morning! Detailed documentation! Regi and Leaena said that when my hair is wet it kind of looks like Ten's hair, only blond, and then they started to conspire to dress me up like Ten for Halloween and have me be their own personal Ten or something. I'd like to say that I don't know who Ten is, but I do. I certainly don't have the obsession with him that they do, but I do know who he is and why he's called Ten and that pretty much everyone either wants to have Ten or be Ten, and absolutely everyone wants to touch Ten's hair. So of course Regi was touching my hair. Heheheh. The supposed Greek Tragedy of Regi becomes all that much more complicated with me as her own personal Ten whom she has to share with Leaena. But I secretly don't mind. I obviously fall very slightly into the category of wanting to be Ten, while Regi and Leaena and probably Leaena's Sister all fall very deeply into the category of wanting to have Ten. So they will use me to fulfill the more innocent of their Ten fantasies, like touching his hair. He does have great hair. And a seriously badass coat. I hope I get a coat like that when they turn me into Ten. Heheheh.

This is pretty random, but the hotel had a pancake roller. It's, like, a machine that spits out pancakes every forty-five seconds.

And we thirty-eight nerds dressed up in our brand new spiffy black-and-gold togas of awesome that my mother and I and Leaena's mother and Regi made, and we had the coolest togas at the whole convention, by far. And Mr Latin Teacher, complete geek that he is, had his gold-and-black toga (gold with a black border, while ours were black with gold borders) and what is called the Hic Habet Hat, which is a completely geeky black-and-gold pharaoh hat. And we went back to Miramonte and took photos and practiced our chants so we would dominate the spirit competition. And then all the schools gathered in the gym and we dominated the spirit competition, at least among middle-sized high schools. Unfortunately I couldn't get anybody to chant my Latin translation of 'We are the Tigers,' even though we are the Tigers, and I translated it into Latin:

Ubicumque imus (Ubicumque imus)
Homines scire volunt (Homines scire volunt)
Qui essemus (Qui essemus)
Eis dicimus: (Eis dicimus:)
Nos sumus Tigres! (Nos sumus Tigres!)
Fortes, fortes Tigres! (Fortes, fortes Tigres!)

Ah well. We still won. Last year we didn't even place, because everyone brought eir own toga and we didn't have a chant except for the Latin translation of 'Here Comes the Sun,' which nobody knew, plus not even the person who wrote it knew the translation of 'all right,' so it just went Doot-n-doo-doo, hic venit sol. Doot-n-doo-doo, hic venit sol. Et dico: est... how do you say 'all right'? So yeah. This year we dominated with our coordinated chants and yelling and screaming and awesome togas.

Er... then we went to watch the chariot races, in which our team got second and had probably the best chariot if not the best runners... and then to the catapult contest, in which our team lost pretty well, and then to nerd out and watch tennis sort of but more like sit on the grass in the sunlight and play I Spy (they did, anyway), and thus passed the morning.

After lunch was a slave auction, and I volunteered to be auctioned off, and I was marketed as a wizard named Adriel who is also a Jedi and can swordfight ('cause I am and I am and I can, you know), and a girl named Ashlie bought me for thirteen dollars, and she and her friends named me Rutherford B Hayes, and they had another slave that they named Mercutio. And they had me and Mercutio carry their stuff for them, and make our best super-embarrassed-boy attempts at belly dancing, and submit to letting them doodle on our faces in eyeliner. One of them wanted to put us in full girl makeup, but my domina was kinder and wouldn't let her friend de-man us quite that much. So we were their slaves for maybe an hour before we had to go do other things.

'Other things' for me being Aeneid Recitation. All the Advanced Placement students from my school had to learn the passage for class, and all those who went to the convention had to enter the contest. Only one person from another school even entered. My school put four people in the top three places, because two of them tied for third. I got first. One of my classmates, 'Ackbar,' recited in a ridiculous 'Cockney' - at least that's what he called it - accent. We kind of wanted to have each person use a different accent, but nobody but Ackbar was confident enough in eir accent-ing ability. We did all have a tendency to say at least the first two words in an unreasonably low voice, because we learned it by listening to this recording of an old guy with an audible beard (yes that's possible, I could hear his beard in his voice) who spoke really deeply, and the whole class would try to get its voice as low as possible in imitation. The passage is this:

O socii - neque enim ignari sumus ante malorum -
O passi graviora, dabit deus his quoque finem.
Vos et Scyllaeam rabiem penitusque sonantis
accestis scopulos; vos et Cyclopea saxa
experti. Revocate animos, maestumque timorem
mittite: forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit.
Per varios casus, per tot discrimina rerum,
tendimus in Latium, sedes ubi fata quietas
ostendunt. Illic fas regna resurgere Troiae.
Durate, et vosmet rebus servate secundis.

Then I went to look at the artwork, where eventually my three roommates found me again. The art was pretty good, really. Leaena is a very good artist, too. She had one particularly amusing picture of a nerd centaur, complete with suspenders (holding up what, exactly?) and nerdy spectacles. I don't remember what all else she entered, but it was all very good. I entered seven pieces myself. A picture of Dido the human chameleon owl, an illustrated passage from the Aeneid, a ceramic sculpture of a phoenix, a model of the Horologium Augusti. My Hermes hat which I just made on Thursday by sewing a pair of dried bird wings to a newsboy cap and have been wearing rather regularly since then. A sculpture of Atlas made from a deer's atlas bone and holding up a styrofoam globe painted with the images of the zodiac. A pin, which took second place in the Jewelry category, which was made from an owl tibia (but I told everyone it was a fibula) and punned on the word fibula meaning 'brooch.'

Our banner of amazing nerdliness and Romans In Space was disqualified, though. We weren't supposed to have used a computer. It's still amazing and nerdly though, and will hang forever in the classroom, with Leaena's Sister's face conquering the ages with a battle-cry and the ridiculous story of Medicus et Dominus packed with science-fiction references and Latin jokes.

So... not much happened after that, really. We whiled away the rest of the afternoon in unproductive nerdage. Then to one last general assembly of uninterestingness, then to the Scottish Rite Center in Oakland for the banquet. The Scottish Rite Center is this amazing 1927 building right from the zenith of architecture, and it's just about saturated with Freemason symbols. The ceiling in the banquet hall had some sort of latticey sculpture like things, behind which we had good evidence (id est, we actually saw someone back there) of there being secret passages. We couldn't find out how to get up there, though. But we did find a second- or third-story window where a person could easily (and we did) squish between the window itself and the weird bronze shutter-sort-of-thing bolted to the wall outside...

And even though it was a serve-yourself buffet, there were still waiters, and Leaena kept staring at their bowties. She'd interrupt herself in the middle of a sentence almost like a dog yelling 'Squirrel!' Like, 'Talking, talking, lorem ipsum blah blah bl - Bowtie!' I'm still not sure of my opinion on bowties. Leaena is firmly in the 'Bowties are cool' camp, obviously... I think it has something to do with a fictional character called Eleven. I honestly don't know who Eleven is except that he's related to Ten but is less awesome. Maybe. I did feel compelled to ask Leaena's permission not to wear a bowtie to prom - she granted it, but only because cape is more awesome than bowtie and I feared that the tying of the cape might conflict with a bowtie.

And there was a chocolate fondue fountain.

And they announced the winners of everything later (Mercutio was apparently an important enough person to do the announcing), and our school got second overall in midsized high school awesomeness.

And just before we left, Regi and Leaena's Sister sent me into the men's bathroom (gasp! but little did they know that I had just used the other one, upstairs) to see whether it had a proper Rest Room like the ladies' bathroom did, which it didn't, it just had a locker room.

And then on the bus ride back home, I held Leaena's goblet over the head of Left-Handed Freshman in the seat in front of me, just to show Regi how funny obliviousness is - it was even funnier when it was her. But Right-Handed Freshman in the seat next to Left-Handed Freshman deprived Left of his obliviousness, which kind of ruined the funny. But then Regi started telling all manner of silly Regi stories to Right-Handed Freshman, and Leaena joined in, and they talked to Right and entertained the entire back of the bus for the entire bus ride, while I slept. So now everybody knows all about the Phantom of the Weedpicker (yes you read that right), and many other things about Regi. And I can really picture Regi waving embarrassingly to Right in the hallway sometime, with a goofy grin and a sound like 'Nyiiiii!' just to commemorate their one long bus ride as friends. Before I fell asleep, I heard Right comment to Regi, 'You may be the weirdest person I know.'

So we made it back to our town at about two o'clock on what really shouldn't be considered Sunday, and I slept until maybe one-thirty on the afternoon of what is most definitely Sunday. Which is today.

What a fun weekend.


funnyflyby's picture

I am emailing this entire journal to myself.

I laughed out loud so much, I'm not even going to specify which parts. But you seriously just made my day.

lamb_da's picture

This was an enjoyable read.

This was an enjoyable read. And it has furthered my intrest in Latin, though I'm positive that I'd fail in it :P

Everyone seems to have a Freakazoid but me! I'm so sad :[

You're so beautiful, you made me forget my pick up line. ;)