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
So Much for the Moon
Thursday. 1.7.16 3:53 pm
Wednesday. 1.6.16 1:48 am
Inspired by randomjunk, I started going to the gym. I looked up the gym type that she goes to, and noted that you get a FREE MASSAGE every month with your membership!?!? Whaaaat? Amazing!?!
Well I didn't join that gym, as it was too far away, but I did join 24-hour Fitness, which is conveniently located between my house and my workplace. Over the last five days I've been every day, sometimes taking two classes, sometimes one. I've taken three Zumba classes (1 hr each), one cycling class (1 hr... I thought it was only a half an hour so I almost died around minute 32 when I realized). I also took a kickboxing class. One day I went on the stairmaster for 30 minutes. Oh my. I weighed myself this morning, and according to the scale I weigh more than I've ever weighed in my life. Good thing I already ate all of my Christmas candy, so it won't tempt me anymore. Cardiovascularly speaking, and strength-wise, I'm not as out of shape as I thought I would be. I guess working on the 8th floor and only using the stairs has been helpful for something. After each class I want to say, "IS THAT ALL YOU HAVE!?!?" Except the cycling class, man, that was pretty harsh. Everyone warned me that Michelle, the instructor, is a beast.
The 24-hour fitness dude who got me signed up on the computer was a student at Cal Poly Pomona. He wants to be an intern at JPL this summer. It would be weird if he ended up working for me. He asked me what my goals were for joining the gym. I didn't really have any, other than "to get in shape". Since then I've been trying to think of what my goals actually are. I think I just wanted an activity to do, and I'd exhausted lying around on the floor of my house and scrolling through 9gag.
So far the combination of vigorous aerobic exercise and giving up Facebook (and 9gag) at work has made me extraordinarily productive... we'll see how long that lasts. We're headed into the season right now when everyone is frantically writing conference abstracts for this conference we have coming up in March (the deadline to submit something is January 12th).
Today it rained about half as many inches as we got during the entire year of 2015. It's supposed to continue raining for the rest of the week. THE REST OF THE WEEK! That's like eternity here in southern California, where weather isn't supposed to be a thing. The El Nino they promised us has finally arrived.
In other news, I bought a couch, a coffee table, and an end table. The latter two arrived this afternoon, and the couch is scheduled to arrive some time in the next month. It is a foldout couch, so the next time didi comes I'll have a place for him to sleep (and all of you, too, fair Nutangians).
Tomorrow we go to the bosses and ask for ~3 million dollars to continue building our Moon robot. I hope we succeed. :) My colleague's job hangs in the balance.
From a Café in Buenos Aires
Wednesday. 12.16.15 5:06 pm
I am sitting in a café in Buenos Aires. I am waiting for a flight. I managed to order something like a Fanta and two empanadas of different types. The orange soft-drink is a particular victory for me because I managed to say in Castellano, "Do you have something like a Fanta?" The result was close enough to a Fanta, by all accounts.
Buenos Aires had put me in a bad mood, as usual. It wasn't really the fault of the city as much as it was the fault of the world-- the world was so globalized that everything looked the same, and it annoyed me to travel so far to find that nothing had changed.
So I had sat staring morosely out of the bus window, looking at the same goddamn weeds growing out of the same goddamn sidewalks, and the same goddamn trash choking the same goddamn waterways, stretching in brown mundanity towards the vast brown sea. Then I'd fallen asleep.
In the airport I'd had to run the gauntlet of the duty free shop, with its perfumes, cognacs, and Oakleys. It isn't difficult: I am immune to luxury items. Especially when they are the same goddamn luxury items in every airport, across the world, with no variation. The super-sized Toblerone pyramids are an exception. I am always tempted by Toblerone. But my will was strong. I bought two normal chocolate bars, and my delight at following the conversation with the cashier in Castellano momentarily distracted me from the math of conversion and before long it dawned on me that I'd spent $8 on a chocolate bar. A Milka, no less. Did they import the goddamn thing from Germany directly? The wrapper is printed in German, so that could be precisely what they did.
Inside the terminal someone has parked a brand new Fiat on a pedestal under a string of lights, as if a Fiat could ever be desirable. The television is tuned to "soccer news", because soccer players have been the only personages of note to come from Argentina since it was founded.
The Argentinians as a people can best be described as either stylish Americans or fat Spaniards. Every man in Argentina is handsome, even the ugly ones. The old ones in particular, of the sport-coat-wearing, loafer-sporting variety, gaze out at the world from beneath dark, expressive eye brows, and every one of them could be The Most Interesting Man in the World. The women run the gamut on the thin side of average-looking, but the production quality that goes into their hair is unparalleled in all of the New World. Many of them are fair, which seems disconcerting in South America. I finish my orange soda. My mood has improved ever-so-slightly. Argentina doesn't deserve my scorn any more than any other godforsaken country on the planet.
Time to board a plane.
Friday. 11.27.15 11:02 pm
I found an old poem that I wrote. The technology is out of date.
The phone is quiet, unperturbed.
Flipped to attention in hope of extraordinary news;
It delights in its ordinariness
The phone is quiet.
Hid in pocket, left by bedside table,
Stared at, flipped open (to check the time);
Exhorted by force of will to ring, rechecked for ringer volume
The phone is unmoved.
My Love could be lost, hurt, confused, or dead
The phone is Quiet.
My Love could be dead, or worse, uncaring,
or worse, with another
The phone is unmoved.
Billions and billions
Friday. 11.6.15 6:54 pm
Yesterday my friend and I had to give a presentation to a bunch of bigwigs. They had told us to figure out whether a particular mission idea was feasible. We told them that it was indeed a very cool mission, and that we had figured out how we could do it. Then our cost guy got up and gave the estimated costs and all of the bigwigs proverbially choked on their coffees. Feasibility study having been completed, our bosses placed a big black checkmark next to the concept: STUDIED. Check.
And that was all she wrote. I was disappointed, but not surprised.
Afterwards my friend and I were sitting around and talking about how bummed we were.
"Well," he said, "we did ask them to fund something that cost 4 billion dollars. How many people get to go up in front of people and ask for things that cost 4 billion dollars? Even around here?"
Not many. Not too many at all.
Conversations with an Old Roommate
Sunday. 9.13.15 2:34 pm
Him: So when you become the director, remember that I want to have Firouz's job.
Him: When I become the director, which job do you want?
Me: I want to be in charge of the ENTIRE SOLAR SYSTEM
Him: Ok, yeah, that's Firouz's job, so, same as me.
Him: Wow, that woman's singing voice is beautiful!
Me: She sounds like a Disney Princess
Him: Yes! I always wanted to marry a Disney Princess when I grew up. My favorite was Pocahontas.
The Rotting Deck
Friday. 8.28.15 6:35 pm
My landlord decided to replace some of the boards on the deck in the backyard of my beautiful new abode (built in 1920).
Upon removing the offending rotten boards, he discovered that the frame that was holding them up was also rotten. He can't replace the surface rotten boards without replacing the frame boards. Upon taking up one of the frames, he discovered that many of the foundation boards were also rotten. Indeed, the concrete pylons that make up the foundation itself are sitting at angles. What my landlord conceived as a weekend project for himself has now stretched into a week, and my deck is a mess of exposed nails and jutting boards that cannot be traversed. A large spider has taken the opportunity to build a complex web across the entrance to the yard.
At work it is more of the same. I try to fix one thing in a figure I have made. No... not so easy... the file is uneditable. It will have to be remade. Oh, but the access license for the software I made it with isn't working. Oh, the data files that went into the software program are on a computer that is no longer accessible to me.
In order to fix the figure I have to redownload the data, get IT to fix the software license, rebuild the figure from scratch, and THEN export it.
Oh, too much trouble! I'll just buy some tickets for my work travel for October.
"Oh, but you have to have us buy your tickets unless you have a release saying that you are going to do it."
"How do I get the release?"
"Submit everything as if we were going to do it for you, but with your reasons why you want to do it yourself, and then you can be approved to do it yourself. You will be given a strict price limit over which you cannot go. Oh, but one of your trips hasn't been ok'd by management yet, so both of them will have to be treated as "late planning". You can't really plan either of them until management oks them."
"But it was management in the first place who told me quite late that I had to go!"
"You'll have to get management to write a letter explaining why they need you to go and why it was so late... then we'll have a chance at being able to plan your travel so that you can get the clearance for you to book the travel yourself."
Management: "Yes... we're trying to get a lot of people approved after the fact, because everyone was told that they were to attend very late."
"I need to make my travel arrangements, so I need a letter saying why I am applying to go late."
"Why don't you write the letter yourself, and then we'll sign it."
"But I don't know why you decided to tell me so late!"
"Just write something, and make sure it doesn't use any key words that would cause concern, and we'll sign it."
So to buy my own plane tickets, I need to write a letter about myself from the perspective of management, saying why I am applying late, then I need to get management to sign it, so that I can submit all of the information needed for the company to plan my trip, so that they can calculate a strict cost cap that I cannot exceed, so that I can book my own tickets, by which time the prices will have doubled.
It is Friday afternoon at four o'clock and my WORK is a MASS OF EXPOSED NAILS AND JUTTING BOARDS THAT CANNOT BE TRAVERSED.
The Ups and Downs of Life
Thursday. 8.13.15 9:29 pm
Today I got this email:
If you get a chance, can you please stop by my office?
The subject line was "Stop by?"
I was like uhhhhh what have I done... oh noooo what did I do?? Eghhhhhhh Ahhhhghhhh Aghghhhhh
I have solid (and overlapping) meetings from now until 4 pm, will you still be there at 4?
What would you like to talk about?
aghhhh aghghlellhehhhghghhh omgomgomgomgomgomg
You have won an award!—I want to give it to you.
He said that he wanted to give it to me before payday because I would see the "award" reflected in my paycheck and I would probably wonder what was going on.
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