May 29th, 2014
I’m here in San Francisco! I showed up at the GaymerX2 location (the InterContinental Hotel) and found my table on the fifth floor, not the second like I mentioned the other day. I have no idea why I thought it was on the second floor. If you show up and look for me on the second floor, I don’t know what mysteries or treasures you will find…But I request that you then come up to the fifth floor and tell me all about it.
NEXT WEEK: THE BEST OF THE RESTORATION HARDWARE COMMENTS
Oh man there’s a couple neat things coming up!
It’s a gaming convention with an all-inclusive mission statement (abridged below from last year’s original GaymerX Kickstarter project):
The stereotypes about gamers are many, but the core is the perception that gamers are usually straight white guys in dark rooms furiously mashing at a controller. That’s not the reality. Gamers come in all sizes, genders, races, and sexual identities.
Gamers, as a whole, have had to make space for themselves in a society that, for a long time, treated them as outsiders. They have come together and created a real community of people, but one that is not always welcoming if you don’t fit into the mold. Just like most gamers, queer geeks and gaymers want that same sense of community and belonging.
We are creating a convention where all types of geeks can come together, meet others like them, and have a blast without having to worry about what their peers think of them or being discriminated against.
We want to be clear this isn’t just for gay white dudes either. We want all genders, races, and sexual identities including our straight friends and allies to come together and have a gay, geeky good time. We believe very strongly that creating a space like this is not only important for building a strong community, but also showing new generations of gaymers that there are others like them out there, they are not alone, and there is a welcoming place for them, not just at GaymerCon, but as part of the larger gaming community.
I’ll be on the second floor in the Indie Alley section! CORRECTION: My table is on the fifth floor in the Expo Hall, table i21.
Last year (at GaymerX) there was a dude who proposed marriage on stage to his boyfriend and it’s just the sweetest doggone thing you ever saw.
Tickets may not be available at the door, so check the website if you’re interested in coming.
I’m pleased to be attending, not because I’m gay or make specifically gay-themed material, but because I want to support this effort to give gamers of all persuasions a safe space to have fun, and also because I want to meet the kind of person who would come to that sort of space!
KPCC, one of my local Los Angeles public radio stations, is throwing a Tesla party as part of its science programming for kids!
It looks like reservations to attend the live event are full up, but you can watch the livestream on their website at 1pm Pacific, Sunday July 20.
Why would you want to (besides a deep and abiding love for all things Tesla — after all, you’re reading this on the internet)?
Well uh I will be playing Tesla at the event
Did your household recently receive a 12-pound block of Restoration Hardware catalogs? Mine sure did!
At first I thought “What a waste!”, but then I realized that if I went on to buy just one $1200 lamp, it would pay for a lifetime of sending me catalogs.
But, since I won’t buy said lamp: It is indeed a waste!
The top catalog pictured, “Interiors”, features staged scenes full of furniture and accessories, artfully arranged into picturesque tableaux from some imprecise notion of “the past”.
In case you’re not familiar with Restoration Hardware, it’s a home furnishings store that specializes in recreating and adapting period items — you could easily decorate a Restoration Hardware kitchen with brass Versailles drawer-pulls, a hanging lamp styled after something from a 1910s button factory, a breakfast table made of reclaimed Russian barnwood, and a stove hood patterned after the innards of a famous Belgian clock.
Sometimes the items they sell are relatively straightforward, such as a steamer trunk coffee table.
Other times, they’re strange, like a floor lamp patterned after Sputnik.
Their catalogs are full of this same dissonance: some artifacts that are handsome, if peculiar, homages to styles of the past; others that are bizarre mass-produced old-and-distressed clutter existing solely for the sake of looking old and distressed.
The catalog descriptions, however, are what I want to point out specifically. They’re mostly compound phrases, like the above:
Reproduction of a found French woodcarving from the early 19th century, ravaged by time and the elements.
Same with this canoe-shaped curtain (the most logical of all shapes for curtains):
Vintage architect’s model, or “maquette”, of a canoe constructed of solid oak slats.
You could mix and match the second half of those sentences and I wouldn’t even blink. My favorite descriptions in the catalog are the ones that read like the two halves were pulled out of two separate hats. See if you can match these first halves:
1) Inspired by the voluptuous form of a vintage hayrack…
2) Replica of an architectural rosette fragment cast in resin…
3) Reproduction of a pair of Baroque architectural brackets from a Parisian theater…
With these latter halves:
A) …with the weathered appearance of stone.
B) …our cast iron table is topped with timeworn, reclaimed oak.
C) …reimagined as a mirror.
(Answers: 1-B; 2-A; 3-C)
The Restoration Hardware company went to the trouble of compiling these catalogs and mailing them to me — no mean feat. So the least I can do is put them to use. I call the game Restoration Hogwash.
It follows the rules of the game Balderdash. First, one player looks through the catalog, and chooses an image, placing a sticky note over the description.
Then, all other players take a slip of paper or an index card and write down a made-up description for that item.
Meanwhile, the person who chose the picture transcribes the real description.
Everyone turns in their slips to the first player, who mixes them up and reads them all aloud.
After everyone has heard all the descriptions, players each vote for the description they think is the real one. The object of the game is to fool the other players into picking your made-up description (by making it sound convincing), instead of the real one.
Players score one point for each person who is fooled into picking their fake description, as well as one point if they pick the correct description themselves.
The chaise pictured above? Here’s the real description:
Reproduction of a 100-year-old Hungarian sleigh, crafted of solid elm with a tea-stained burlap cushion.
That is printed right there in the catalog and I’m still not convinced it’s not made-up.
Here’s another picture from the catalog, of a table that is also a pillar for some reason:
Leave a comment on this post and write your own one-sentence catalog description for this piece.
This won’t be a contest to get it right — don’t bother figuring out the correct description. Just some fun to see who can write the best made-up version.
I’ll reprint my favorite comments in a future post! And if you play Restoration Hogwash, let me know how it goes!!