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
Just a little too attached to this place
Monday. 2.20.06 4:21 pm
Seaver South is a quiet building. Even when it is full of people, it radiates silence enough to drown out all sound. It is quiet, but not peaceful. It is quiet in the way a building is when there are strange machines working through strange hours of the night on unknown tasks, behind just a few too many doors and down just a few too many floors
to be heard above the silence.
Monday. 2.20.06 2:24 am
It has been a tough year for us. We lost Grandfather. We lost Callisto. We lost Obelisk. And now we're losing Honey.
Life in the Universe
Thursday. 2.16.06 12:47 am
They asked us in my class Life in the Universe to say whom we would save if a gigantic asteriod were coming to destroy the Earth. I forgot about the assignment and was therefore secretly writing it in class along with everyone else. I adopted the persona that I so often had in economics class. I said that I wouldn't save anyone at all. I said that whoever survived would survive because they happened to be better suited to the conditions on the new Earth, and therefore nature would have its own way of picking those whom it wanted to continue. If you messed with such a scheme you would only get humans ill-suited to life on Earth who would die anyway. There is the possibility, of course, that the human race would be wiped out entirely. I said that this would not be a great tragedy, as in the space of geological and astronomical time we are but a speck upon the record and just as insignificant. Perhaps, I mentioned, there is some other intelligent species that hasn't yet had the opportunity to evolve- our dominance of the planet is the only thing that is holding it back! If you think about it, were it not for the death of the dinosaurs, mammals never would have radiated to the extent that we see them today and humans may have never existed. To fight the asteroid, I concluded, would only be a delay of the inevitable.
Dan read it and said that he'd never heard anything so depressingly nihilistic and he felt like he had to go pray so that he could get rid of the feeling. I think he needed reassurance that I actually believe in God and all the things I said I got from somewhere besides my own god-fearing mind. Well, I do believe in God, but the things that I wrote seem to me to be the only natural conclusion a hard-core evolutionary scientist would come up with as an answer to the question of the meaning of life. So why aren't all scientists nihilists? Why do scientists couch evolution as a process to some kind of pinnacle of complexity? There is no POINT to evolution! There is no GOAL. The fact that life keeps getting increasingly complex stands against the basic laws of thermodynamics. If everything in the Universe naturally tends toward a low energy state, life would follow suit and tend towards the state with the highest entropy. But it doesn't, does it?
Anyway, I like to write treatises like that when they give us a free-thought experiment. I like the ones that make the professor choke with an extremely human knee-jerk reaction against the idea of a completely pointless existence and then try and reconcile this strong internal feeling with my arguments- all of which are natural conclusions to his own professed beliefs.
Memories from Junior Year
Tuesday. 2.7.06 10:39 pm
I really wanted to say, "Bromide" but for no reason. He would have immediately said "yes" but then he would have repeated me quizzically and changed his answer to "no". He would explain why, even if I told him that I had said it on a whim. He would say what Bromide was actually used for, but by then I would have moved on to think about bromliads. He doesn't know anything about bromliads... well, he's not expected to, but he probably does. He is my favorite professor. I'm going to marry some guy like that (only my age, of course). But when he gets to be that age, he'll be like my professor. He'll undoubtedly wear glasses. He'll tell jokes and no one will laugh but me. He won't be a professor but if he was he'd get chalk all over the back of his pants. If he was gone til 10 on Mondays and Wednesdays he'd be sorry about it and he'd come home to my arms and tell me that it was only a matter of time before he made enough money so that he could come home at a decent hour and he'd mean it and I'd tell him that I loved him no matter what time he got home and I'd mean it.
Sunday. 1.29.06 10:35 pm
My rabbit died. Her name was Obelisk. Here is a poem for her:
Rabbit as King of the Ghosts
The difficulty to think at the end of day,
When the shapeless shadow covers the sun
And nothing is left except light on your furâ€”
There was the cat slopping its milk all day,
Fat cat, red tongue, green mind, white milk
And August the most peaceful month.
To be, in the grass, in the peacefullest time,
Without that monument of cat,
The cat forgotten on the moon;
And to feel that the light is a rabbit-light
In which everything is meant for you
And nothing need be explained;
Then there is nothing to think of. It comes of it-
And east rushes west and west rushes down,
No matter. The grass is full
And full of yourself. The trees around are for you,
The whole of the wideness of night is for you,
A self that touches all edges,
You become a self that fills the four corners of
I like it because in the part I did not include it refers to the rabbit as "black as stone" which is what Obelisk was. Black, with specks of white like sugar on black velvet and dark chocolate spots on the top of her front feet that you can only see in the sun. She was 10 going on 11 years. L. Nickerson says she had a rabbit that was older but may I say respectfully, I do not actually believe her.
Saturday. 1.28.06 2:47 pm
Whenever I am in a plane, I always begin to think, "What if this plane crashed?" I think about when we'd know that it was going to crash, the terrifying/fun feeling of being in total free-fall... trying to get yourself together enough to clutch your head in the fashion of the featureless, emotionless victims on the tri-fold safety brochure. One has a baby in her arms. One is a child and so is bent in half, everyone else has their arms against the seat in front of him. When the plane slams into the ground, will his arms break against that seat? Will the paltry strength of his arms be enough to hold the rest of his body back from the catapulting, crushing effects of inertia? Probably not. The seat belt will be his only hope.
In the first scenario, I usually die. How tragic! She has died... on the brink of life's adventures, at the tender age of 21, she was killed in a freak plane accident.... Depending upon my emo level for the day, this one lasts longer or shorter, but usually shorter. Then we move on to even more fun fantasies.
In the second scenario, I am the only one in the whole plane to survive. It's for various reasons, sometimes it's where I'm sitting or because I'm the only one without a person sitting next to me, etc. So I live, but the plane is in ribbons and on fire, and after the wave of the crash is over I look up, trembling, to find the person sitting next to me is DEAD. I usually look at the person next to me at this point and try to imagine what they would look like dead, and whether or not I would be able to climb over them to get out, or if they fell on me, would I be able to lift them off of me, or would I suffocate from bad fumes, still alive but unable to wriggle my way from beneath my neighbor! No, I would definitely escape- even if I were severely injured, as long as it was an injury on one of my extremities, I would endure the pain of yanking my leg, broken in four places, from where it was stuck (perhaps I'd have to rip it off!) and escape the burning plane. Everyone would say, "oh no! She was on that plane! Everyone died! Oh no!" but then it would come out that no, one person survived, it was me, I'm in a bad way, but I'm alive. I'd have to do some serious rethinking of my life and priorities, probably. Having been spared by God, I'd have a new soberness in my personality. I'd be a little less exhuberant, more pensive. Sometimes, if I were at a party and everyone was having a good time, I would just disappear. Oh wait, I already do that.
In the third scenario, my personal favorite, I save everyone. Well, not everyone but mostly everyone. I survive the crash, realtively unharmed. Maybe a broken arm or something, but hopefully not. The first people I have to save are the other people in my row. I have to take stock of them as we sit in the plane, ready to take off: Too heavy? Too bulky and awkward? If I had to choose between the two of them, which one would I save? Where are the nearest children? You've got to save them, of course because they are children... not to mention light and easy to throw over your shoulder. Depending on how badly the plane is on fire, I make quite a few trips back to make sure everyone gets out. I assign some of the not-as-badly-injured folks to help people get down the evacuation slide. For this reason, when they tell you to take note of the nearest exit, keeping in mind that it may be behind you, I always do, because you never know- it could be really smoky and you couldn't see the exit sign, or really dark- you have to know where your nearest exit is and whether it is a window or a door. What if there is a water landing? Well then I'd have to remind everyone to remain on the raft so nobody gets wet and we don't have anyone dying of hypothermia or being eaten by white-tipped sharks. Everyone would be panicking because the plane would be slowly sinking, they'd try and do something stupid. I would have to say, "Calm down, everyone, I need you to calm down for me so we can get through this. I'm not leaving this plane til everyone is safe."
I wouldn't add that I was going to leave before we got the dead people off, because frankly, sinking to the bottom of the ocean in a plane isn't the absolute worst place to be buried and I'm not willing to risk my life or the lives of my plane-mates for people who are already dead. But I wouldn't say that because I think it would just remind the living people of their dead friends and relatives and they would get more panicked and we just can't have that.
Then the flight takes place and it's fine and we land and that's exciting because at any moment we could turn the plane the wrong way and it could start doing mad cartwheels down the runway, the wings tearing off, the tail tearing off, the back of the plane is now open, people could fall out! But really that's the best way to crash land a plane because the wings take up all of the energy that the plane previously had traveling at such high speeds when they break, so there won't be as much energy left when we SLAM full speed into the terminal, much to the chagrin of waiting passengers!
But then we land and it's fine and then we don't get hit by any airplanes that are taking off or landing around us on the runways, and we get to the gate, and after all that it's almost a bit of a let-down.
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