A ship may be safe in the harbor, but that's not what ships are for.
Ethnicity. that of my father and his father before him
Location Paris, France
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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
want to read: Last Hunger Games Book, Honeybee Democracy, The Bell Jar
Wednesday. 10.7.09 8:24 pm
The Welshman and I are on the street corner, having the extended conversation that always takes place on this street corner before we concede that we must part ways. The traffic lights are cycling. Once or twice a cycle, like double dutch ropes, they offer him an opportunity to leave.
"Sometimes," he says, speaking of Antarctica, "your hands are so cold that they ache, they have this horrible pain... and you can't really warm them up properly... even when you do, they aren't right after that. I definitely lost the feeling in my fingertips for a while. But my hands are especially sensitive."
He shows me his broad hands; they are flexing white as if in memory of past days.
"I don't want to lose feeling in my fingertips," is my rejoinder, but he is thousands of miles from the street corner.
"Why am I going back? What am I thinking?" he says urgently.
His attention returns to me suddenly and he smiles a jovial smile.
"You'll have a great time!"
The hand is red but he steps out backwards onto the street and into the night.
Tuesday. 10.6.09 8:17 am
You, a chandelier of light
Elegant shimmering crystals
Allowing brief and broken reflections
To illuminate those of us below
And I, a hopeful balloon
Which at kind glance streams skyward
Which at careless word might burst.
Ambrosia from Mount Olympus
Friday. 10.2.09 12:28 am
Thalweg sent me a canister of freshly-made peanut butter from the Safeway at the corner of Taft and Drake in Fort Collins, CO. She sent it priority in case it could go bad. It is the most incredible peanut butter I have ever eaten. She wrote an ode to it, and after I tasted it I wrote an ode back.
I will reproduce the odes here:
Though your brown cast is at first unappealing
Deep pleasure is your color concealing
If a synesthete were I
My spirit would fly
For a seraphic concerto I'd be hearing
In the mail did treasure fly,
"Ambrosia!" was the Herald's cry
To kitchen's tower she made her haste
To pleasure her tongue with love's first taste
And at once the nectar did her senses besot
Skippy and JIF her soul forgot
Such joy and rapture could not be relayed
If the Heavens were of peanuts made!
Such luscious truth the prophet bespake
Of the holy corner of Taft and Drake.
Srsly. Go there. Honey-roasted peanut butter. You will never be the same.
Wednesday. 9.30.09 6:42 pm
"Print out this page for me," he instructed.
I printed out the page and he fetched it from the copy room. He set the paper down on the table and pulled up a chair, brandishing his red pen. I could hear the scritch-scratching of the marker on the paper. For a long time. Much too long. I glanced at him out of the corner of my eye.
"I'm not writing a novel," he said, reading my thoughts. He brought the paper over. A small change, and a long sentence tacked on the end of the conclusions that snaked across the page and sideways down the margin. I read the sentence and rejected it, explaining why. He frowned and started scribbling out the handwritten red sentence. Then he grabbed the paper and violently crumpled it up. Almost as quickly he put the paper on the table and smoothed it out again. He handed it to me.
"I still want you to make this small change."
Thursday. 9.24.09 8:22 pm
Thursday. 9.24.09 3:58 pm
Life is difficult. Life is mostly difficult because there are so many possibilities and you only have a limited amount of time to explore them.
For example, what am I going to do in the next two years?
Should I take a bunch of classes and try for the Engineering Masters?
Should I try and study in France for a semester?
If I weren't going to Antarctica, I could probably do both... but I'd much rather go to Antarctica!
Should I write about radar or water coming out of volcanoes?
Induration hypotheses or lava properties?
After I graduate, (aged 27) the road forks again:
Post-doc in Paris studying Martian climate models?
Post-doc in Maryland studying brand new images coming down from the Mercury mission?
Job paying me lots of money at Exxon?
Post-doc studying volcanoes at the New Zealand Volcano Observatory?
Post-doc at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. studying Mars?
Post-doc at the Southwest Research Institute studying Mercury?
Post-doc at the Desert Research Institute in Reno studying wind?
Fellowship studying desert processes at some Asian university?
Peace Corps/Michigan Tech program fighting volcanic hazards in poor nations?
Post-doc in Southern France dividing time between studying volcanic ash and going to Antarctica to collect it?
Move to New Zealand with no plan for employment at all?
Work at a hostel in northern France, learning French?
Teach English in South Korea?
Or my newest plan: Write a grant to study inverted topography at the University of Ürümqi!!!
The post-doc positions are each 1-2 years, so after that (aged 29) my path would branch again:
Space Research Institute Staff Scientist
National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration Scientist
National Center for Atmospheric Research Scientist
--Something having to do with fluid mechanics or engineering--
An old advisor of mine used to say:
"Some geologists study the Northern Shield of Canada, horrible, cold, mosquito-infested places.... me? I study the Galapagos Islands. Why? Because somebody has to study paradise, and it might as well be me."
This has been my philosophy for everything since. After all, somebody has to do my dream job..... it might as well be me.
And then there is the whole question of settling down in the Midwest and getting married and having a bunch of kids...
How many eligible bachelors are there in Ürümqi?
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