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 Altadena, CA
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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
What's Wrong With America
Monday. 4.23.07 1:43 pm
So the US Congress is really split, and emotions across the aisle are really heated. What the US Congress really needs is like a big team-building opportunity. Do you really think you could so vehemently bash the ideas of the senator from North Dakota if you had to rely on him to catch you during your trust-fall activity? Could you really filibuster Senator Akaka's Pineapple Trade resolution when he killed that huge spider in your tent on the "Backwoods Maryland Adventure Excursion"? Really. The US Senate and the House just need to go on a big field trip together. I mean, the obvious place to send them would be for a tour of the nation's capital, say, on par with an 8th grade class field trip, but assuming they've already seen most of those sights before, I'd recommend perhaps a trip to the Grand Canyon might be in order. Perhaps you could stick the Senate in a pair of buses and send them across the Midwest, and they could have challenges that await them, Road Rules style. So maybe Senator Sununu is a real bitch when it comes to fighting trying to reform oversight of government-sponsered legislation, but maybe you still need to treat him civilly because he's the only one who can win the Senate v. House arm wrestling competition.
"Oh we're the Congress, we don't have time for all that community-building crap!"
Oh yes you do, Congress. I see how many recesses you guys get. Do you really spend all that time hanging out in your state and seeing what the will of your constituents is? Could you really not even spare one week for a getaway to the mountains where they'd make you arrange yourselves alphabetically by state without saying a word? Could we all promise that we will refrain from making fun of Maine though, you've been hurting Senator Snowe's feelings.
And maybe, if you could talk to each other a little more reasonably, then you could be a little bit more efficient and you wouldn't need to be so busy all the time, plotting against all the other lawmakers, did you think about that?
I'm sure all of you have your problems with the current administration. I'm sure you all have your dreams about what American democracy could be like. What better way to get all that out there on the table than to bitch about work while making dinner, eat up, cook up some nice s'mores, get that cozy community-type feeling when all the conversation dies down and people are watching the fire, and then talk about your secret hopes and dreams about how to bring Mississippi's education system up to par with the rest of the nation while looking up at the endless Milky Way?
Doesn't it make you feel small, and insignificant, the Milky Way? Just think, next week you'll be signing a multi-billion dollar piece of legislation that could possibly change the world. But what is multi-billion compared to the trillions of stars in the sky? You might be changing the world, but your actions will have no visible effect on the state of the universe. Ever think about that? Ever think about how the Universe could be just one single atom in the desk of a colossal Congressperson, arguing over the same principles of jurisprudence? You might end up in a big snuggle pile with Wisconsin, Texas, Ohio and South Carolina.
You'd definitely come back to Washington with a refreshing perspective, let me tell you that. With your new friends and your renewed sense of confidence, you could work together to hold off the pressure of the lobby. You'd all have little nicknames, like "Dakota" or maybe Jeff "Congressional" Sessions (R-AL) or Jim "Money" DeMint (R-SC). Now wouldn't that just make the congress a happier and healthier place to work?
I think so.
Just don't get carried away and "lose" Hillary on your afternoon trust-building hike, mmk? Behave yourselves, don't forget you are representing the US Government here!
Sing to me, Avril
Sunday. 4.22.07 5:44 pm
I look away
then I look back at you,
You try to say
the things that you can't undo,
If I had my way
I'd never get over you.
And I don't wanna fall to pieces
I just wanna sit and stare at you.
I don't wanna talk about it
And I don't want a conversation
I just wanna cry in front of you.
dead poets and birthdays
Saturday. 4.21.07 9:47 pm
So my birthday was pretty sweet. I got some awesome stuff from the familia. Rachie sent me this picture frame and in the frame was this picture she'd taken of the Pantheon dome with the hole in the top. It's a really awesome picture, it looks almost like a painting, it just has this matte quality about it, and you can see the light coming in through the hole. For me it's a perfect representation of inspiration making its way into the mind. This picture is what I was thinking of when I wrote "Dragon's Spirit" only it would be at night, and I'd bring down the ceiling a bit and make the hole larger to make it a temple of the stars. It also reminds me of Rachel herself because when we were in Spain I asked my two sisters if they were a temple or cathedral, what kind would they be (gothic, roman, modern, etc.) Rachel said she'd be the Pantheon. Katherine said, "With a hole in the top of your head!?!?!" :P
Mum bought me an adorable little rabbit that is a puppet. The unique thing about it is that it is sitting on its bum so you can really see its big hind feet (awwwwWw I miss my bunnies!). Father dearest got me this little book of all these news items from the year of my birth. It is HiLArious. Gas was $1.10 back then. But then again, minimum wage was $3.35. They are selling all these totally 80s products... amazing. I got a bunch of other awesome stuff too, I was quite pleased.
After opening all my presents I went down to campus. They were having a big festival/concert thing so everyone was milling around. It was like 70 degrees all the sudden... gorgeous. Everyone got out and sat on the grass. I walked through campus and down to the Capitol building, which I'd been wanting to visit but thus far I hadn't gotten the chance.
I wrote a bunch of angry things about one of my colleagues just now, but I erased it. William Wordsworth once said,
Therefore let the moon
Shine on thee in thy solitary walk;
And let the misty mountain-winds be free
To blow against thee: and, in after years,
When these wild ecstasies shall be matured
Into a sober pleasure; when thy mind
Shall be a mansion for all lovely forms,
Thy memory be as a dwelling-place
For all sweet sounds and harmonies.
So whenever I write something angry like that I think about this part of the poem, and how I should like my mind to grow to be a mansion for all lovely forms and my memory as a dwelling place for all sweet sounds and harmonies. This aim requires two things: living your life and perhaps changing your circumstances/actions so that your current wild ecstasies might be matured into a sober pleasure as opposed to a bitter regret, and that you choose to remember the right things, and just let go of unimportant unpleasantries. I'm always thinking, when I choose my path- will this path decorate my memory with lovely forms, or clutter it up with things I'd rather not remember? When you're projecting 20, 50 years into the future these are different things than you might put in there if you only had to live in your mind for the rest of the week. You have to think of memories like garden plants and think, "what sort of memory will this be when it is grown? Will it bloom once and then be a dead stalk? Will it spread like an ugly weed and crowd out all other memories? Guilt is often this type of plant. Will it be a memory so lovely that it will steal attention from all the other memories? That isn't always bad, as long as you appreciate your other memories in due course. Or like an empty vase will it someday serve only to remind you of a lovely memory that turned bittersweet with time? Is it important to keep the vase there, or should you remove it, or rearrange it, replanting it with something new? Which memories will only gain beauty as they grow? Those are the best kind of memories to plant. My memories of California, for example, feel like a grove of leafy golden trees and with time they will become more hazy and dreamlike but more and more beautiful. I should write an entry sometime about some of the memories that I think of as forming especially beautiful pieces of art to adorn the inside of my mind. By the time I'm 80, what a gallery and garden I should like to have!
Zanzibar hits the MALLLL!!!eleven!!!1
Friday. 4.20.07 11:37 pm
So tomorrow is my birthday. It starts in about 23 minutes. So to celebrate, today after work I went to the MaaAaaaLLLLLL!!11one. I just got a parking ticket so I was feeling sassy towards the police. I paid and mailed the ticket immediately then I went home and got one of my IBC root beers and brought it into my car. I proceeded to take big swigs out of the bottle when I was stopped at lights. I DARE YOU TO PULL ME OVER, PROVIDENCE POLICE SONS OF MARACAS! Today was the first warm day in as long as I can remember, so I rolled down the windows and blasted the "Riding Dirty" and "Boston" by those people who start with an A, also the Avril Lavigne "Girlfriend"or whatever its called, which is just too damn catchy, (youknowwhatimsayin?) and took swigs of the rootbeer, and rode dirty.
Upon arriving at the mall, I stumbled out of my car and threw my rootbeer away (yes, I threw it away, I didn't not recycle it! HAHAHA!) right in front of a group of preteens with their moms at the mall. That's right, you just saw me get out of my car and throw away an empty brown glass bottle, thas right, whatcha gonna say? You gonna step to this? Steppin? Are ya? No? That's what I thought. I had to drink the whole rootbeer very quickly because when you go shopping for new clothes it's important to look at fat as possible, and drinking an entire soda immediately beforehand usually does the trick. (d'oh!)
So I went over to the Macy's because they were giving away Clinique gifts and I thought, I should buy something and get one of those gifts, oh yeah. So the girl comes to help me and I'm like, "Why hello. I would like to buy something." and she's like, "What?" and I'm like, "oh. I didn't think of that part."
So I decided that I was going to buy foundation, but I said I didn't want it to be "obvious". She had to get something so I sat down on the little chair. A few minutes passed and I gazed into the ordinary mirror on the counter.
WHAT! WHO WAS THAT CREATURE FROM HELL THAT LOOKED BACK AT ME!
ALAck! BLACK circles! under my eyes! spots! uneven skin tone! Around my left eye was all red from where I'd just rubbed it. How did they even let me out of the house looking like that? MaKE-UP! I NEED MAKEUP! Sell me gallons of MAKEUP IMMEDIATELY!!! So I bought some. And not only did I get a free gift, I got a free bag, too. But the bag was lame. And I realized later that if I'd spent like $1.50 more I would have gotten this free 3-in-1 washing crap and that bitch didn't even tell me that. Macy's bitch!
I went into the Aeropostale. Oh, gee, hm, in these mirrors my face looked normal. I mean, fine... I mean, not like a zombie, or that picture that Ranor once took me where he changed the contrast until I looked like a rotting corpse. Yeah. You remember ranor. That picture is exactly how I did not look in the mirror in the Aeropostale. So maybe a cosmetic mirror is not an ordinary mirror at all, but a portal into another dimension where an alternate version of you looks back at you through the glass but the alternate you has been dead for six months.
At the Aeropostale I got some sweet deals and then as I was cashing out the guy at the register was making with the small talk. He has three hours left of work, he's so tired... some other worker comes up and asks, "Do we have these in a size 9?" and he says he doesn't think so but if he can wait a minute he can check in the back." There aren't any in the back, he confides to me, but it's just an excuse so he can go in the back and drink.
Go in the back and drink, eh? I cock my eyebrow. "And make the three hours go by more quickly?" I say.
He gets my meaning, and then his, in that order, and, shocked (and probably like 17), he says, "Oh no! I mean water! I'm going to drink some water... nothing like, stronger than that."
Sure. Sure. I know how they be doing down at the aeropostale.
Time to go to what has always been my favorite store in the mall: hot topics. I made sure I didn't have any embarrassing bags... once I went into hot topics with an abercrombie bag... that was terrible, that's like showing everyone that you are not only a goth poser but that you are a preppy poser trying to pose as a goth poser which is like the biggest sin that exists. Luckily I only had the macy's and the pacsun at that time so I'm ok. Surfer posers who go to stores for surfer posers... I mean, an east coast store posing as a branch of a California-themed store that caters to people posing as surfers. (And like taking a photocopy of a photocopy, the Pacsuns east of the Mississippi just ain't the same.) But all the same, a poser posing as a surfer poser is way preferable to someone posing as an east coast Abercrombie prep poser, or the west coast Hollister version, which I won't even get into. Pacsun at least provides poser-gear that is the slightest bit alternative, which hot topics can appreciate. Hollister is my second favorite store in the mall, by the way- I never buy anything there but I just love venturing into its murky interior. And seeing some random old guy sitting in the beach chairs out front, and first you think he's part of a hollister ad, and then you're like, "dude, that guy looks like somebody's DAD." And he is.
Today hot topics was selling old-skool ninja turtles wear, which was SO AWESOME. Remember how the ninja turtles used to look nice and friendly, and like they were friends to the people of New York City, rather than dirty, evil creatures of darkness with white slits for eyes? Yeah, those were the days.
The day ended with some sweeeet deals from aeropostale, pacsun, and Old Navy (especially Old Navy), and then the exact same string of songs came on as when I was on my way to the mall, so I rocked out to "Boston"
"I'M TIRED OF THE SUNSET, I THINK I NEED A SUNRISE," I sang, and there Avril Lavigne once more, in what shall be known as her "turn-of-the-century-Hilary-Duffesque" artistic period.
happy birthday to me already! :D goodnight.
The Tree and the Telephone Pole
Thursday. 4.19.07 9:52 pm
Side by side on roadside knoll
Stood leafy tree and telephone pole.
The pole need not attend to growth so was keen on observation
And after observing many years it struck up a conversation.
"Why does man respect a tree when for itself it grows
While pole lights his house, his road, and labels where he goes?"
The pole elected to rephrase in hope of being better understood:
"Are we so different, you and I? We are both composed of wood!"
The tree took in the battered pole- it leaned slightly to the side.
It sported attachments of every kind and rusty staples marred its hide.
"Yes, I suppose, of wood are both made we,
But a lifeless pole are you, and I a living tree."
"A living tree, indeed, as idle through Winter it sits
Doing naught but shedding bark as a twisted pile of sticks
Then in Spring, providing homes for many pests
A platform for the villain woodpecker's messy nests
In Summer arching branches and shady canopy
Are still no match for the cool from my electricity!
In Fall dropping litter on the street in every rain
Clogging every gutter, blocking every drain!
What use are you to anyone but as fodder for the ants?
And fate can take away the life that in acorn's heart it grants."
"O pole, with rectilinear shape,
From your metallic yokes your thoughts cannot escape!
In winter I take the shape of something lately killed
But all who pass only see a promise waiting to be fulfilled.
In Spring when up at me the weary passer glances
He catches sight of my flowered limbs, iced with second chances.
In Summer with my branches clothed and bending low
All are lost in rembrance of summer times from long ago
And when the city's heart is freezing and storing winter's ire
I call my brother trees together and Autumn sets the world on fire."
"At the loss of a single life- all life together grieves"
Said the tree with softer voice like wind's whisper through its leaves
There was a pause, the pole was remembering
It still wore no expression but its wires were gently trembling
"Ah, but I was once a tree.
They cut me down to make this pole- who will grieve for me?"
"See these two?" Interjected a country man below.
"Hear how they groan in age? I think they both must go."
It could be understanding or the settling happenstance requires
But the pole became fast a friend and there are branches through its wires
And so they stood, side by side, enduring erosive creep
And their life and death passed by, and neither dared again to speak.
I cannot help but love him as much as Juanes
Thursday. 4.19.07 12:10 am
From changbang's blog (awww)
Wednesday. 4.18.07 11:42 pm
How to mistreat your boyfriend
Wednesday. 4.18.07 9:50 pm
Yesterday I heard a shout from the stairwell, followed by a string of swear words. "What's wrong?" I asked, coming into the hall.
"Oh, I tripped and spilled this thing." It was my roommate. He had been carrying his part of the Indian food that She just finished making upstairs and his leg had gone funny since he just ran the marathon so he tripped and spilled about a fifth of the rice on the plate onto the stairs.
She came into the stairwell and walked by him and went into his room. I got out a broom and he and I swept up the rice. The Indian food smelled so delicious, I expressed how sorry I was that he'd spilled it and he said the same. He told me what a good cook she was, probably loud enough so she could hear.
Once he went into his room I could hear her start arguing with him. "I just finish making a beautiful dinner for you," she began, "and you had one hour, ONE HOUR and all you had to do was set up the placemats, and you didn't. Do you want me to spill rice all over your bed?? You can't do anything!! You can't even walk up a flight of STAIRS! You're so CLUMSY!!"
But they made up later.
This morning I came into work and my coworked looks like he was run over on Exhaustion Street by a truck with tires treaded with Depression. That's what we use instead of snow tires during the Providence winter, in case you didn't know.
I asked him what was up and he said that his girlfriend had called him at 4:30 in the morning last night. That's only 1:30 in the morning for people in California, aka her. She'd called because she had a paper due the next day and she was stressed out and she didn't know what to write and she wanted him to comfort her and give her ideas. Few ideas are to be had by someone who has just been woken up at 4:30 in the morning in the last few weeks of the semester.
So what is the moral of the story here?
That you should treat your significant other significantly worse than you would ever treat anyone else? That you make of them extremely selfish and ridiculous demands and talk to them in a discourteous tone of voice and say to them hurtful things that you would never even think about doing/saying, even to a perfect stranger, even to your worse nemesis?
An aside: I'd probably put up with a zillion crazy demands before I'd let someone talk to me in a discourteous manner.
To be fair, it is impossible to get my roommate to do anything. He always says he will, and then never does. If he did all the things he promised to do, I would have a working fan, a space heater, a shower curtain, a captured mouse, the trash taken out, a new car antenna, and a can of mace. Most of these things I do have, but because I eventually did them myself. The only thing he did get me in a timely manner was my bottle of Tylenol when I was sick a couple of weeks ago, probably because I looked like I was going to die within the hour and the drugstore is across the street. So the fact that he had an hour to put out the placemats and he didn't would be quite annoying to anyone who has known him. But come ON. Getting mad at him because he FELL UP THE STAIRS? I'd also be a lot more sympathetic if he didn't make them both dinner at least 50% of the time.
And as for my coworker's girlfriend, ok, so I wouldn't really be mad if my boyfriend called me at 4:30 in the morning. I would be worried! I'd be totally out of it at first, then I would be worried, and then when he told me why he was calling (if his reason was the same as hers), I'd be like, "what?" I mean, if he were in some totally random time zone and he didn't know what time it was here or that was the only time he could call, I'd be happy to hear from him- I'd probably rather talk to him at 4:30 in the morning than anyone else... and if it was a drunk dial then I would be like, "silly goose" and then I'd go back to sleep... but in California it's always three hours behind, and it's Tuesday night. The only answer to give is simply, "what???" followed by the classic,
"Do you have any idea what time it is?"
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