So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Ethnicity. that of my father and his father before him
Location Cherry Hills Vil, CO
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The Link To Zanzibar's Past
This is my page in the beloved art community that my sister got me into:
Extra points for people who know what Samarinda is.
The Phases of the Moon Module
The Tree and the Telephone Pole
I Do Not Know Their Names
Today I am Young
A Night Poem
Siren of the Sea
If I Were a Dragon
To the Dreamers Leave the Sky
The Honor of the Oyster
Return From San Diego
A Late Summer's Night
Of Dragons and Men
The Edge of the World
The Snake's Terror
Metaphysics and the Middaymoon
Of Adventures in Foreign Lands
The Rogue Wave: The Unedited Version
Adventures in the PRC
Voyage of Discovery
Drinking the Blood of Goats
Ticket for a Phantom Bus
Os peixes nadam o mar
Three Villages Far Away
The River Weser
Children I Should Have Kidnapped, Part I
Let's Get You Out of Those Clothes
If Underwear Could Speak
Croc Hunter/Combat Wombat
Only My Favorite Baseball Player EVER
Aw, Larry Walker, how I loved thee.
M: Science and Exploration
T: Cook a nice dinner
Th: Parties, movies, dinners
F: Picnics, the Louvre
S: Read books, go for walks, PARKOUR
Su: Philosophy, Religion
The Reading List
This list starts Summer 2006
A Crocodile on the Sandbank
Tales of the Alhambra (in progress)
Dark Lord of Derkholm
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
The Lost Years of Merlin
Harry Potter a l'ecole des sorciers (in progress)
Atlas Shrugged (in progress)
A Long Way Gone (story of a boy soldier in Sierra Leone- met the author! w00t!)
The Eye of the World: Book One of the Wheel of Time
From Magma to Tephra (in progress)
Lady Chatterley's Lover
Harry Potter 7
The No. 1 Lady's Detective Agency
Introduction to Planetary Volcanism
A Child Called "It"
Is Multi-Culturalism Bad for Women?
Americans in Southeast Asia: Roots of Commitment (in progress)
What's So Great About Christianity?
Aeolian Dust and Dust Deposits
The City of Ember
The People of Sparks
When I was in Cuba, I was a German Shepard
The Golden Compass
Clan of the Cave Bear
The 9/11 Commission Report (2nd time through, graphic novel format this time, ip)
The Incredible Shrinking Man
The Elves of Cintra
The Gypsy Morph
Animorphs #23: The Pretender
Animorphs #25: The Extreme
Animorphs #26: The Attack
A Journey to the Center of the Earth
A Great and Terrible Beauty
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
To Sir, With Love
Alice in Wonderland
Through the Looking Glass
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
The Hunger Games
Shadows and Strongholds
The Jungle Book
Beatrice and Virgil
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
No One Ever Told Us We Were Defeated
The Name of the Wind
Tao Te Ching
What Paul Meant
Lao Tzu and Taoism
Sand and Sandstones
Lost Christianites: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew
The Science of God
Great Contemporaries, by Winston Churchill
City of Bones
Around the World in 80 Days, by Jules Verne
Stranger in a Strange Land
The Old Man and the Sea
Flowers for Algernon
Au Bonheur des Ogres
The Road to Serfdom
De La Terre à la Lune (ip)
In the Light of What We Know
Devil in the White City
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
How to Be a Good Wife
A Mote in God's Eye
want to read: Last Hunger Games Book, Honeybee Democracy, The Bell Jar
Eighth Grade? More like "Geighth" grade, amirite?
Monday. 6.4.07 8:53 pm
So I'm having sweet peas for dinner. Big bowl of sweet peas. I was just not going to have dinner because I randomly had an onion bagel around 6, but it was 8:30 and I was hungry and I have all these random cans of sweet peas and when am I ever going to eat them amirite?
Haha, I joined this facebook group called, "8th Graders need to back off 9th grade guys especially other people's BF's" haha. Cause man, those hoochie-mama 8th graders totally need to step off. The group description says, "This is a serious issue."
Some college guy had this to say:
"Eighth grade? More like 'geighth' grade, amirite?"
and everyone was like, "yah, lol, usorite!"
Tomorrow the Mercury Messenger spacecraft begins its second flyby of the planet Venus along its winding path towards Mercury. You always have to go a really windy way to Mercury because it's one of the most difficult planets to go into orbit around. This is because it's so close to the Sun... since gravity is speeding you up constantly as you shoot toward the sun, by the time you get to Mercury you are going seriously fast. Complicating things is the fact that Mercury itself is so small and it doesn't have a lot of gravity to help stop you. It's really hard not to just shoot right past Mercury and go straight into the fiery inferno. In fact, that's all we've pretty much done so far when it comes to Mercury. Because of this, we've only actually seen half the planet so far. We have no idea what the other half looks like (only the barest of shadows seen by Earth-bound telescopes!) So in a couple of months, we'll have another look at Mercury.
This flyby of Venus is special because unlike the last time this same spacecraft flew by Venus, this time we'll be turning all the instruments on, just to test them out for the first Mercury encounter (we also have to fly by Mercury several times to slow ourselves down before we enter orbit). Unfortunately, since the instruments on Messenger are primed for looking at the small, rocky body of Mercury (aka it sees mostly in the visible), all we'll be able to see of Venus are its thick, 70km high-altitude hazes. BORING! Well, not for atmospheric scientists. But we aren't atmospheric scientists, are we? There may still be a few small wavelength windows where we might get to see something of the surface, but not much. Today they had a press conference in preparation for the launch. My advisor wanted somebody to go watch it because he's on the mission so he should watch it but it's really boring. He came in and asked us innocently if anyone was planning to go watch. Nobody moved. I didn't even take of my headphones. Caleb finally got up because he was seriously bored doing what he was doing and he'd been trying to get out of it all day.
"Oh, come on, guys! Look at you!" said my advisor. "Our mission is FLYING past another PLANET tomorrow!!!"
"And I'll go and watch it," I said, "TOMORROW!"
He just laughed and ducked his head out of the lab. Caleb came back less than five minutes later. "I couldn't stay," he said, "I told Peter (the guy who pipes in the NASA tv), I told him I had to leave."
But it's pretty cool we're flying past another planet tomorrow, huhn? If you have NASA tv (which you obviously do) or maybe it'll be on the internet, you should tune in.
In the spirit of this exciting event, here is a picture of the module that took the astronaut that I MET the Sunday before last to the MOON:
And here's when I burned my finger on the hot fudge:
And a tree that looks like a heart!!!
It's Great to be Straight
Monday. 6.4.07 7:51 am
Sunday. 6.3.07 8:48 pm
Just watched "The Prestige". I figured I would hate it, since I don't like magicians or watching magic shows.
After the first half I literally took it out of the player and put it in the box, that's how much I hated it.
But then I started thinking about it. And I got curious. And I put it back in the player.
Total mind-fuck, ladies and gentlemen.
Watch it all the way through.
Saturday. 6.2.07 10:31 pm
I am amazingly free this summer.
I've got my own place, I've got my own car. I can drive it anywhere I want whenever I want. Absolutely nobody gives a crap when I get home. I can tell someone Iâ€™m going home, and if it takes ten minutes or three hours to get there, no big deal. Nobody expects me for lunch, nobody expects me for dinner, nobody tells me what I should eat or what I should buy or where I can and cannot go or when I have to get back. I have enough money to pay the rent and buy the groceries. Beyond those two my needs are few. Yes, I'm expected at work, but nobody really cares when exactly I come in or how I partition my day- all I have to do is get my work done. And even though nobody expects me to be anywhere, if I do show up then they are glad to have me. The other day I spent a ridiculous amount on fresh grapes. But nobody told me that it was too much and that I should spend my money more wisely. I bought some cookie dough, but nobody told me that I shouldn't because it's not healthy. I can decide whether I move or whether I stay put, whether I rent a moving truck or take it in my car, if I clean the bathroom or if I just let it stay dirty, anything. I can decide to take a trip to Utah. I can drink milk right out of the container. I can eat dinner at 10 oâ€™clock. Or 3 oâ€™clock. Or not at all. I can decide to drive to New York City at 4:30pm on a weekday. Or not. I can do anything I want! BWAHAHAHAHA!!
I Ain't Settlin'
Saturday. 6.2.07 4:03 am
I submit this song, (which can be listened to as the first song on the list to the left), as a kind of theme song for 2007, The Year of Our Triumph.
A Song Upon the Mood Organ
Friday. 6.1.07 5:30 pm
Summertime, and the livin's easy
Yesterday morning I was in a bit of a bad mood, it is true. All of the Old Feelings... the ones from the winter... the feeling that everything I did was cosmically worthless... they were returning. Not just depressing thoughts like "in the vastness of geological time, a single lifetime is smaller than a mote of dust and just as influential"; but more just that what I was doing seemed so untied to anything important--- human existence, fraternity, kindness, service, duty, and everything else with any value in this world. Yeah. Those are hard feelings to suppress, once they grab a hold of you. I'd had a meeting with my advisor and I realized that for the next couple years I might have to argue with him about things that he isn't going to want to change his mind about. Either I was going to shut up and write what he told me to write, or I was in for a lot of arguments in order to write what I really thought was right. It broke the tide of mood that I had been sailing on since the summer came into my life.
So I did what I usually do to make myself happy, I retreated to one of the highest floors of the library, and after I did some work for Project FG I samba'd around in front of the elevator until it opened, and then I did a crazy dance while the elevator descended ten floors. I walked on confining walls instead of the sidewalk... there were these two stones and I'd been thinking about just leaping between them but I wasn't sure I could jump that far... I just went for it (and made it!). My brand new MP3 player was key- I specifically listened to happy songs, and I imagined myself to be like one of those people in the ipod commercials, only I would be the shadow person, not the boring restrained regular person. There isn't anyone on campus anymore, so I get to dance like a maniac wherever I want.
Then I went and played some more soccer. I never want to go to soccer, but whenever I get there I always have a hilarious good time, because I love that game. We played two on two, Alida and I against Patrick and Gareth, so basically America vs Europe or perhaps girls vs boys. Alida and I CREAMED Patrick and Gareth... probably to the tune of more than ten to zero, though they almost scored a goal once- it went off the "post". Eventually it was getting a bit embarrassing, because the Patrick the frenchmen's manhood seemed to be at stake, and Alida and Gareth are dating. These kinds of fun events usually aren't that helpful to the old relationship. So Alida and I called off the game because of the mild rain but we'd still played for quite a while altogether and it was quite fun.
The honest truth is that when I started feeling crappy yesterday, I didn't want to feel like that. Ok, so you say... nobody likes feeling crappy, eh? But actually, if you examine it, oftentimes when you feel really crappy you do enjoy in some respect how crappy you are feeling and how complainy you are being and you don't really want to take the necessary steps to make yourself feel happy again (whatever those might be). It's like when I'm sick and I'm in some kind of pain and I complain to my parents and they say, "Take an Advil."
Logically I know that taking an Advil will make me feel better, but in addition to my general dislike of medicine in general, don't you ever just like being just a little pathetic and miserable sometimes? Quietly (or loudly) nobly suffering through some ill, the greater forces of biology seizing control of your body...!!! Just...suffering a little bit? I always think to myself that if I take a medicine that masks the pain, that I'm putting a damper on my body and I might not hear the important signals that it's trying to send me. (See: Injuring your leg and then taking like 6 Advils and running on it anyway) But then when someone tells you, "But you are suffering absolutely needlessly, for a silly and stupid reason, and you could easily stop suffering and get back to work." you feel a little bit sheepish, and not so noble or smart at all. Then you take the Advil, and then you feel better, and then you get distracted, and you find that feeling healthy is indeed actually better than being sick, and there aren't really any crazy consequences for ignoring some bad feelings, and off you go.
It's like that classic book I just love now, that my sister recommended to me: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? They made the movie Blade Runner after it, I seem to recall. But in the world of the book everyone has a "mood organ". You just have to sit down at the mood organ and punch a code in and it will make you feel whatever mood you punch in. The main character's wife is constantly depressed, verging on suicidal. Sometimes she feels this way naturally, and sometimes she calls it up on the mood organ, something like, "utter despair" or some setting like that that you think that nobody would ever actually use. One day she's feeling glum and she sits down at the mood organ but she won't punch the number to make herself feel better. She says that she doesn't feel like dialing it. The main character says, "why don't you press 333?" (or whatever the number was) and she's like, "Yeah, yeah, I know, 333 makes you feel like dialing, and then you dial whatever you want." but she still doesn't do it, she just sits there, staying depressed and not feeling like dialing.
So a lot of times when I feel depressed I sit around and I think about how I don't even feel like dialing. I know perfectly well that there are many different things I could do that usually make me feel very happy but I just *don't* do them, because really I'm enjoying feeling lame and depressed and having a pity party for myself, and I don't actually want to change. Well yesterday it was different. Yesterday the cloudy morning gave way to a gorgeous afternoon, and in my mind I dialed 333. I convinced myself that I actually did want to feel better- that I actually didn't want to sit around being depressed and second-third-fourth-guessing my decisions. And then, like a switch had been turned in my mind, I started doing all of the things that make me happy... sluggishly at first, and then more willingly. I had a meeting with one of my favorite professors, which helped, and he and I worked through a bunch of bugs in my FORTRAN code... I learned so much from him in such a short time!
Then I did all the things that I mentioned above, and gradually I forgot about all of those dark feelings and as I was walking home today I started singing, "Summmmmertime... and the living's easy" and running my fingers along the soft tops of the bushes and thinking about how FREE I am right now.
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