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
Auggie my love
Tuesday. 4.3.07 7:44 am
My friend wrote me an email... I enjoyed it so much I had to reproduce it in whole here. I swear, some of these letters I get from Auggie make me think of the letters I read in Romantic Poetry between all of the poets and their brothers and friends. I imagine people calling my house in future years requesting her letters to bind into a book about her, because people won't be content with just her published work.
As the French have realized that old chateaux, manor houses, and barns
are cold and draughty, with ceilings so high and doors so low that
their residents can never get them clean and suffer from escalating
brain damage, and walls that only crumble away into more dirt at the
slightest touch of a dust rag, the British have arrived in droves to
buy them up, generally turning them into BnBs and gites. This also
allows other British people to vacation in France without having to
interact with the French.
The resulting "holiday" networks warrant further study and a series of
obscurely weighted charts. Throughout the year, foolish British 11th
century building owners who would never normally associate, regularly
socialize, rejoicing in their ability to brew a proper cup of tea and
trim a climbing rose. Holiday goers frequent the same chateau summer
after summer, for two of three weeks at a go, and their children
remain loyal as they mature. As that dirty old man in The Quiet
American said, I am British and therefore I have habits.
Which brings me to the main subject of this report, which is my theory
that the British suffer from an overabundance of meals, such that
they've forgotten which ones are supposed to be the important ones and
intead select which ones to hang their days on according to personal
I meant to go on from here with a long report on tea time, breakfast,
coffee time, elevenses, lunch which may be called dinner and begun at
four in the afternoon, tea time, and dinner which may be called
supper, and wind down by bemoaning the result that the people I'm
staying with generally eat nothing after 2:30 lunch, filling the
evening instead with an extended cocktail hour (it generally being
acceptable to begin drinking once David has begun cooking lunch), but
I've been handed an overfull glass of red and shan't be writing much
So here's the quick report: I'm wwoofing at a chateau in Normandy
with a British couple, but will within a week be moving down to the
Pyrenees, where I shan't have internet or phone access, to chase goats
in the mountains. In May I'll be making sheep's milk cheese in a
French commune, but should be communicado once more.
For now, these people wish their names were Fletch and Muffy. I was
greatly relieved when it occurred to me my first week here that they
love to hate each other, and the French, and probably me. Perhaps, as
with our sheep, it is simply in their nature not to outwardly manifest
fondness for those humans to whom they are closest.
Of Mice and Roommates
Monday. 4.2.07 6:51 pm
Yesterday Chris and I tried to catch the flying mouse. At least, we tried to see if there was really a mouse by moving the refrigerator (where he believed it to be hiding) very quickly and see if anything ran out. I already knew there was a mouse, so I was just along for the ride.
We blocked off the entrance to the kitchen and the bathroom and I put a large paper sack on the floor, just in case, to see if we might catch it.
Chris: Do you think you are capable of killing the mouse?
Chris: You're such a Republican!
Chris: Are you going to jump up on the table like a little blond girl?
Me: Well, maybe. It better not try and run across my shoes, that's all I'm saying.
Chris: Don't you think mice are cute?
Chris: How on earth could the mouse jump up all those stairs?
Me: Have you ever seen how high a gerbil can jump?
Chris: Oh. Yeah.
Chris: If we catch it, do you think we should throw it out the window?
Me: No, of course not. If we go to the trouble of catching it alive, I'm going to take it down the stairs and put it outside.
Chris, nervously: You don't think we should just throw it out the window? I think it would be fine.
Me: It would break its little legs!
Chris: I think it would be fine.
Me: Let's just move the refrigerator.
So we moved it, and what should come out?!?! Nothing, of course. There were a million other nicer places for the mouse to hide. But we did find enough mouse droppings to convince Chris that it existed and that it was disgusting. Then I worked the broom and he worked the dustpan til the kitchen floor was clean again while we discussed the relative merits of cheetahs and tigers (since he'd lent me both Two Brothers and Duma one after the other).
Chris: You know that faggot? What was that faggot?
Me, aside: Already heard this one.
Chris: You know, the faggots, with the tigers?
Me: Sigfried and Roy
Chris: YEAH! Sigfried and Roy. And he got attacked by the tiger and it ripped off his face. That's the worst thing that can happen to a faggot, you know, when somebody rips off his face.
You may wonder that I did not speak up here against both his stereotyping and his diction. However, I know him well enough to know that had I said something about it, he would have launched into another story, much longer than the current one, about how he loves gays so much that one time he saved these two total fags from the certain death they were going to experience because they were being pushed around by big, thug-like mob irish guys from South Boston and he intervened, and so the thugs beat him and his friend up instead, while the fags ran away in a fag-like manner. That's the other reason that his hand towel has blood on it, you see, because they bashed his teeth against the concrete and he hasn't had the proper surgery to make them better again. So I changed the subject by pouring myself a bowl of Rice Krispies.
As I was washing the strawberries for the cereal, Chris came over and told me that I really couldn't wash them like that. I gave them to him and he put them in a bowl and then filled the bowl up with water and swished the strawberries around and poured out the water. "People really have no idea what terrible pesticides are on these strawberries," he said. "You could really get cancer. I'm really glad you're listening to me about this." He said that like a man whose girlfriend never took his advice on anything, which is exactly the case. He started filling up the bowl again, interjecting that some people only do it once but he always does it twice so that he's sure that he's got all the pesticides. "Really," he continued, "People have no idea. And I'm not some kind of wacko, either..." he paused, and then started laughing. "Well, I guess that's debatable" I started laughing too, and he said maybe that was something that could be decided at some other time, and we were laughing and straining the strawberries in our kitchen with the refrigerator in the middle of the room so the mouse couldn't climb up the back of it to get to the counter, and a row of rubbermaid containers and milk jugs and paper sacks walling us in, and it was a moment, you know.
One of those moments that make roommates closer.
The Ghost Does the Laundry
Monday. 4.2.07 2:35 pm
So just now I went down into my creepy, creepy, creepy basement, where I was changing my loads before going back to school for class. Everything down there was as I left it, which is why it's a good idea to do laundry on Mondays, because nobody else does.
Well, except for one thing. Somebody had evidentally been down there since the last time I was there because there was what seemed to be a small pile of white things sitting on the top of the dryer. Upon closer examination one could see that they were a little white towel and a set of white, blood-stained bedsheets. We're not talking a spot of blood here, and we're not talking about a just-used-to-carry-a-murder-victim amount of blood, we're just talking about a bit of blood here and there all over the linens, kind of like someone used the sheet to repeatedly blot his face after shaving (see: my roommate's hand towel). Why the unknown person would choose to place these things on top of the dryer instead of perhaps... the washer, or something, and why he or she had decided to leave them there instead of taking them back up, or emptying the dryer or washer and placing my things on top, no one can know.
But all I can guess is that the ghost in my house, with all her showering, has at last decided that the linens need cleaning too.
Monday. 4.2.07 1:57 pm
We were eating lunch together in the upstairs classroom as the clouds of another cold Providence day settled around the second floor of the geology building. For the first time in a while it was just us and there were no prospective students to impress.
W had just made another of his depressing remarks when R, who is working on finishing her Phd in the next year and who has just accepted a 3-year post doctoral position in order to stay here in Providence suddenly said,
"Oh come on! Is no one happy here but me?"
A very awkward and extremely ominous silence followed.
parts of a random song I wrote
Sunday. 4.1.07 6:53 pm
I tuck my alarm clock back to sleep
It's been up before me every day this week
And I'm sure there's nothing so tiring as keeping time.
I've just spent half an hour thinking of nothing at all
Sitting on an overturned Rubbermaid box
Somewhere between my shoes and socks
Returning the steadfast gaze of a nearby wall.
Oh it's a new day, nothing's standing in my way
Or at least I wouldn't see it because I can't find my glasses
Oh it's a new day, at last I'm finally on my way
I've forgotten something I'll remember as the day passes
It's a brand new day, I'm getting so much done
I'm as fast a bullet from a gun
I could take on the whole wide world
I can see my potential has been unfurled!
Oh... it's been an hour since I gave up coffee,
but I think I need just one more cup...
Zanzibar's random trip to Cape Cod
Sunday. 4.1.07 8:46 am
So in addition to our having a ghost in the house (I came home so late one time this week that the ghost was already in the shower!), we also appear to have an infestation of flying mice.
They ate through all of my hamburger buns and my bagels. Which were on the counter.
On the third floor of a house that has no railings up which they could shimmy. They would have had to leap up three flights of stairs, and then leap from the floor to the counter in order to put their disgusting little gnawing teeth to my fluffy, soft white bagels and my nutritious brown, wheaty hambuger buns of which I'd only eaten three. Thus, flying mice. Or hopefully just 'mouse', in the singular. Still ew.
Chris: He'd better not eat into my protein powder! ...then he'd be SUPER MOUSE!
So for the past week I've been mulling over the possibility of me shrugging off my huge amount of work and going on a CRAZY ROADTRIP. This new problem which I didn't feel like dealing with sealed the decision. I was going to shake the dust off from this crummy little town and see the world! But unfortunately, I didn't have any bagels to serve as my lunch. :(
So OFF I went! My original plan upon leaving was to drive around New England and go to all the states I haven't been to yet (Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine). I didn't have a map, but really, why would you need a map if you have no real destination? So I ended up getting distracted and driving all the way to Cape Cod. all the way to Provincetown, no less, which is at the very tip of that arc of Massachusetts that curves out into the sea.
Oh, yeah. The first beach I went to was admittedly rather lame, but as I went further up the coast the beaches suddenly got out-of-this-world spectacular. When I showed up at the beach above, I descended from a flight of stairs down the sandy cliffs and there was the endless beach, completely empty but for me. Wow. The water wasn't even that cold, but since the air was quite brisk, getting my hand wet was a bad idea.
From that point on, the beaches only became more and more spectacular, with these massive sand dunes moving across the landscape and burying everything: fences, benches, parking spaces- even the forest!
Ah, the joys of sedimentology.
Then I traveled into a desert wasteland. And let me tell you, walking in sand is HARD. I think the lack of water and the hot desert sun isn't the thing that kills you, it's walking for miles and miles in the freakin' SAND. But it's pretty.
So it went really well and then I came back and ate some delicious hotdogs and beans, and half a pint of Ben and Jerry's Mint Cookie Ice Cream, which was SO GOOD, (especially since it was 8 and I hadn't eaten anything all day!) and watched the movie Duma about a boy and his pet cheetah, which was good, but not as good as Two Brothers. They didn't really address the hard-hitting issues like, "what do you feed a cheetah?" "When a cheetah is in an apartment, where does it relieve itself?" but it reminded me of South Africa! Yay, South Africa, I <3 you! South Africa is kind of like the American west only instead of buffalo there are wildebeest and instead of pronghorn there are springbok, and instead of elk there are kudu, and instead of mountain lions there are actual lions, and instead of Native Americans there are people who speak Bantu and !Xhosa. And, unlike the American West, all of the aforementioned haven't been killed off by the thousands already, so you are more likely to come across them.
Anyway, I'm off topic: hooray for Cape Cod!
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