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
Tuesday. 12.14.10 12:43 pm
The Annual Fall American Geophysical Union Conference (AGU) is the best conference ever, because it is in downtown San Francisco. Some 16,000 geologists descend on the city, meaning that not only are you staying in a swanky hotel in a cool city, you are surrounded by 16,000 of your buddies. Every time you go out to lunch or cross the street you run into someone you know. Whenever you approach meal time, you randomly collect a hodge-podge group of people and go out to lunch, (on the company money, no less!)
Yesterday I ran into a bunch of people I hadn't seen since my trip to Askja Volcano in Iceland in 2008. We had become great friends during the course of our trip but then we had parted, half expecting never to see each other again. It was fitting, then, that we should be reunited in the "What do Pyroclasts Tell Us?" session about studying volcanic ash grains.
I also ran into a girl that I knew in high school-- she was actually the girl from #65 of my hundred things list. Turns out she's a geologist now.
It's a small world.
Friday. 12.10.10 10:29 pm
I have a cooking timer in my kitchen. It's one of those free-standing white timers, very simple. It has its quirks, like you have to bonk it on the top after you set the time in order for it to start ticking, and sometimes it continues ticking long after it has rung, and sometimes when the time runs out it just stops ticking instead of ringing. My ear has become accustomed to listening for an absence of ticking as a sign that whatever I'm cooking might be done.
"Why don't you just get a new timer?" some of my friends have asked me.
See, I kind of like my timer. It reminds me of Providence.
The timer represents the way the whole city works, only in miniature.
Just a minute... I think I hear silence.
Saturday. 12.4.10 12:12 am
Woke up at 10. Out of the house by 12. Grocery store. Tried to find my TA. He was asleep at his desk. I didn't want to wake him. Got someone else to explain it to me. Back rub from the Back Rub Club. Very nice. Finished homework. Cleaned desk. Ran across campus to submit homework. Research meeting. First meal of the day (easy mac). Started six volcano models. Went to library to do take-home math exam. Did the first problem. Fell asleep on desk for an hour or so. Came back. Ate second meal of the day (pizza). Drank cocoa. Watched "Ill Mitch" videos. Nutang. Now it's midnight! Have to finish this exam....
Wednesday. 11.24.10 2:23 am
One of the first things I do when I return to Denver is to take an extremely long, extremely satisfying drink of cold water straight from the tap.
I wish Providence water didn't taste so horrible/come from lead pipes....
The Travel Schedule
Sunday. 11.21.10 8:56 pm
November 22-30: Denver
December 12-17: San Francisco
December 17-28: Denver
December 28-Jan 2: NYC
Janunary 20-21: Washington, DC
February 6-11: Paris
February 18-20: Tuscon
March 6-12: Houston
April 29-May 2: Los Angeles
When exactly am I supposed to write my thesis?
The Ritual Deaths of Third Years
Friday. 11.19.10 9:28 pm
My dream from last night:
It was the end of their third years, and several third years had decided to kill themselves. It happened a lot at the end of the third year, people just decided not to go on. The rest of us regarded the practice with a kind of resignation.
This year it was a little different for me, however, because my roommate was among them. She was unhappy in graduate school, she had had a series of disappointments, she was always worried that somehow she wasn't cutting it.
I understood her decision [in the dream]-- that's just how it went, some third years just killed themselves, you couldn't wish away reality.
The department always held a little ceremony for it, I guess to show their regret that the third years had decided to leave and to mark the occasion of their passing. This year I was supposed to help by taking tiny throwing knives and throwing them so that they would stick into the necks of the third years who had chosen to die. The throwing knife usually severed the jugular, but if it was done just right none of the blood would come out of the skin. The tip of the knife had a little bit of poison, to ease the process.
This year there were three third years that had chosen to die. I knew all three of them, and one of the others was also a friend of mine. I was sad that he had chosen this path, but I understood.
In the case of my roommate, there was a niggling feeling in the back of my brain that made something feel awry. I had never before considered that it didn't have to be this way, that I should be standing up and screaming and doing everything to prevent this from happening. But the feeling was very small.
Throwing the knives came naturally to me, and at the appointed time in the ceremony I flicked my hand and each knife pricked the necks of the waiting students, not drawing a single drop of blood. The student I didn't know very well died easily. Jeff, my other friend, lingered on for a few moments, his breath becoming strained and ragged, before finally expiring and lying in silence.
My roommate didn't die. She stayed on, weak, poisoned, lying there on her side with the little knife sticking out of her neck like an arrowhead. I walked over to her. Sadness was coming over me like a dark cloud as I contemplated my life without her. Minutes from now she would be gone, gone forever, and there would be no way to get her back. She lived on, but most of the meagre crowd that had assembled for the ceremony was filtering out, headed for the modest buffet.
She did not move, except for the faint up and down of her breathing. I leaned over her.
"Can we... can we not do this?" I said, my voice feeling deep and sad like the notes of a cello.
"Can we just... fix you now? Can I just carry you downstairs and we can fix you?"
I didn't want to do anything unless she wanted me to, because I didn't want her to spend her last moments angry with me. If this was what she wanted, I wasn't going to stop her.
But she nodded imperceptibly. Feeling heavy already, I picked her up and carried her to the first floor of the building into one of the teaching labs. One of our professors was there.
"Ah," he said, "You're saving her. Finally someone in this department has come to their senses." He left, bidding us luck and saying that he had to teach a class.
I was buoyed by his words... maybe someone else in the department felt this feeling that I was just starting to feel, that this entire tradition was CRAZY and that somebody had to do something and that we couldn't just stand there while all the third years DIED.
I layed her down gently on the black lab counter next to the sink. She was extremely pale and still. I carefully removed the arrowhead knife with a pair of large lab forceps.
I knew she would recover.
I woke up.
As I lay in bed, trying to remember where I was and what was going on, I heard my roommate moving around in the kitchen making breakfast.
The most beautiful sound in the world!!
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