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
Friday. 12.20.13 7:12 pm
Despite my mounting level of work, the last couple of days have been especially joy-filled. One of our friends defended her PhD today (and is leaving next week), and two others are leaving soon, so it has been a couple of days full of celebrating and saying goodbye. I have been spending lots of time in the office across the hall with our Spaniard, Fuxing the Chinese guy, Madeleine the francaise, and Jeronimo, whom I call "Jeronimooooooooooooooooooooooo!" They hired me in the beginning to write a card in fancy calligraphy, and when that worked out they hired me to write all of their names on post-it notes in fancy letters so that they could label their computers with them, and when that worked out they hired me to draw a stapler on a T-shirt for our Italian friend. They wanted to give her a t-shirt with a stapler on it as a parting gift because the only time she ever came into their office was to borrow a stapler. I had picked up some cool free stuff at my conference in San Francisco so I gave Fuxing a mug that says "Google" and our Spaniard a snow globe with the business card of a random Alaskan research station inside. It was a pretty crappy gift, but it turned out that you could take the business card out and put in your own photo, which turned it from a crappy joke gift into a really awesome real gift. She started out by putting her lab access card into the snow globe. We've all recently been learning Spanish and Chinese, so everyone has been saying "Xièxiè" to thank each other, with the appropriate response being "de nada". We've also been practicing calling each other beautiful and good and interesting in Chinese, with Fuxing as our guide. Fuxing taught us that Chinese people often say "Nakanaka" if they are conversing or especially talking on the phone, kind of like "uhn-huhn" or 'k". So we started saying nakanaka all the time. Since we were working on secret presents for other people in the lab, we closed the door and only people cracking the door and saying, "nakanaka" would be allowed to enter. This worked especially well since it sounds like a hilarious Chinese version of "knock-knock". When Jeronimo showed up he didn't know the game, but when we asked for a password in order to enter he shouted, "NAKANAKA!" And we all laughed a lot instead of doing our work.
My friend's defense went great and we all went to the Argentinian House where she lives to celebrate afterwards with a nice Argentinian bbq. We ate hamburgers and hotdogs and listened to Fuxing tell us about all of the interesting traditions that they have for Chinese New Year. One of my Argentinian friend's goodbye presents was a recipe book that Madeleine had compiled for her by asking everyone in the entire lab for their favorite recipe. She made it look really nice and bound it all beautifully. Now everyone in the lab wants one. I contributed the recipe popovers which they erroneously filed under "desserts".
At long last we had to say good-bye to everyone, and I gave Victor the Siberian one last giant hug. He's leaving tomorrow to live in Siberia forever. When the hug ended I pantomimed wiping away my tears.
"You need to come to Siberia," he said. "Because in Siberia all of your tears will freeze."
Room at the Top
Monday. 12.16.13 6:27 pm
The weather is moderately cold. The streets of San Francisco hums with the sounds of 20,000 geologists, talking, walking, lunching, planning. As usual, plaid shirts, khakis, and tennis shoes make up the standard uniform.
Look at that guy. Dress pants and tennis shoes. That's how you can tell he has a job.
-- My friend, who doesn't have a job
Twenty-thousand geologists is four thousand more geologists than there were at this conference three years ago.
Our numbers have swelled, but times are lean. We encourage our comrades-at-arms who are still in graduate school, but they should stay there as long as they can. Between post-docs, times are lean. That's all we talk about. Who got a job, who is offering jobs, who is starting on their third post-doc, who is moving continents for the fourth time in eight years. It keeps us lean, always being on the move. A rolling stone gathers no moss, and a world-hopping post-doc rarely ever stops long enough to acquire entanglements, like a life outside of work.
Everyone loves talking about their research, but without a single exception they have a back-up plan. Ben is going to be a dairy farmer in Switzerland. Fabio is going to be a waiter. I am going to write a best-selling novel and buy a miniature golf course. Caleb is going to fund his research using his gambling winnings. [I didn't say that our back-up plans were good or even feasible.]
I run into Professor F., one of the members of my thesis committee. I tell him that I don't have a job. I tell him that times are lean. He says that today he was sitting next to some post-docs while he was eating lunch and he heard them talking about what a lean time it was He was grateful that he was a longtime tenured professor.
"My PhD advisor once told me something," he says, "and I am going to tell the same thing to you:
There is always room at the top."
He gives me a nod and disappears into the crowd.
Ok. The miniature golf course will have to wait. Let's be at the top.
"If you'd like to discover new worlds with our innovative team and enjoy a competitive salary and impressive benefits with the renowned leader in space exploration, apply now!
Thursday. 12.12.13 1:30 am
Pics or it didn't happen
Saturday. 11.23.13 9:30 am
A Small Thought on the Fourth Dimension
Tuesday. 11.19.13 1:44 pm
"Let us assume that the three dimensions of space are visualized in the customary fashion, and let us substitute a color for the fourth dimension. Every physical object is liable to changes in color as well as in position. An object might, for example, be capable of going through all shades from red through violet to blue. A physical interaction between any two bodies is possible only if they are close to each other in space as well as in color. Bodies of different colors would penetrate each other without interference... If we lock a number of flies into a red glass globe, they may yet escape: they may change their color to blue and are then able to penetrate the red globe." --- Hans Reichenback, The Philosophy of Space and Time, 1927.
It's My Personality That's The Killer
Saturday. 11.16.13 8:25 pm
Tonight I went out to a bar and met some weird people.
They were part of Paris' golden upper crust, the children of the wealthy, and they did whatever they wanted. First we went to a boy's father's apartment, which was at least seven times the size of mine. It was decorated with incredibly famous art, coincidentally painted by the boy's grandmother and grandfather, who are so famous that I will not put their names on this blog lest it make my blog googleable. The boy's father usually comes and smokes weed with his son's house guests, but not today. The father is being sued for something and it puts him in a bad mood.
We spent 45 minutes looking for a rentable electric car to drive, because the boy's 1960s classic car (very cute, nice in the summer) had been in the shop for 5 months and he was selling his scooter. We wanted to take the metro. He wanted to try another car stand. We wanted to take the metro. He wanted to take a taxi. If we had taken the metro, we would have already been there. He hasn't taken the metro in seven years. That's a lot of years for someone who can't be more than 25. He knows nothing about the metro. I had assumed that there were people who were too rich to take the metro, but I never thought I would meet one.
When we finally arrive we are at a birthday party for someone we don't know. She has rented out the whole bar, and there is a person manning a table at the entrance. They recognize the boy, though, so it is fine. He brought her a present-- his mom had bought it. It was a fur stole, because that's apparently what people give people for their birthdays. She loves it. She has a table of presents filled with beautiful necklaces and antique bookends. It's weird to give a fur stole to someone who you don't know very well, isn't it? he asks. We don't know. His mom had made him drive her all around Paris, and wait 45 minutes for her outside Louis Vuitton, or Chanel, or all of the other stores in the Place de Vendome. She even made him run around and open the door for her when she came back. He's her son, he says, not her driver. The kids in the bar are controlling the music from an iphone. Between each song is a long silence while whoever is paying attention searches for a new song. Boys are making out with boys and then turning around and grinding with girls. The South American guy is moving his hips and all of the girls are paying attention. They break about three glasses while I'm watching them. I try not to watch them too closely. They do whatever they want all the time. Their lives must be much more complicated than mine, I think. A guy asks me out and then he asks me that question I hate:
"Why hasn't anyone swept you up yet?"
"Oh, I dunno, maybe I lure guys in with my looks and then as soon as they learn more about me they run the other direction."
"Oh, I dunno, maybe I'm a serial killer and every guy I've ever dated didn't last longer than a week."
What are you trying to achieve with that question? What kind of information are you trying to get out of me? I'm single, ok, if you want me to explain my many personality traits that work together to make this a reality then we could be here all night.
But we can't be here all night, because the beautiful young rich people are changing bars. This place is dead, they say.
"I'm going to head home," I say.
"Me too..." says one of my fellow scientists.
"...this night has been really weird."
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