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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.


The Profile


Zanzibar
Age. 33
Gender. Female
Ethnicity. that of my father and his father before him
Location Altadena, CA
School. Other
» More info.
The World









The Link To Zanzibar's Past
This is my page in the beloved art community that my sister got me into:

Samarinda

Extra points for people who know what Samarinda is.
The Phases of the Moon Module
CURRENT MOON
Croc Hunter/Combat Wombat
My hero(s)
Only My Favorite Baseball Player EVER


Aw, Larry Walker, how I loved thee.
The Schedule
M: Science and Exploration
T: Cook a nice dinner
W: PARKOUR!
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
Looking Backwards
Wild Swans
Exodus
1984
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)
Uglies
Pretties
Specials
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"
Pompeii
Is Multi-Culturalism Bad for Women?
Americans in Southeast Asia: Roots of Commitment (in progress)
What's So Great About Christianity?
Aeolian Geomorphology
Aeolian Dust and Dust Deposits
The City of Ember
The People of Sparks
Cube Route
When I was in Cuba, I was a German Shepard
Bound
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
Twilight
Eclipse
New Moon
Breaking Dawn
Armageddon's Children
The Elves of Cintra
The Gypsy Morph
Animorphs #23: The Pretender
Animorphs #25: The Extreme
Animorphs #26: The Attack
Crucial Conversations
A Journey to the Center of the Earth
A Great and Terrible Beauty
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Dandelion Wine
To Sir, With Love
London Calling
Watership Down
The Invisible
Alice in Wonderland
Through the Looking Glass
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
The Host
The Hunger Games
Catching Fire
Shadows and Strongholds
The Jungle Book
Beatrice and Virgil
Infidel
Neuromancer
The Help
Flip
Zion Andrews
The Unit
Princess
Quantum Brain
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
No One Ever Told Us We Were Defeated
Delirium
Memento Nora
Robopocalypse
The Name of the Wind
The Terror
Sister
Tao Te Ching
What Paul Meant
Lao Tzu and Taoism
Libyan Sands
Sand and Sandstones
Lost Christianites: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew
The Science of God
Calculating God
Great Contemporaries, by Winston Churchill
City of Bones
Around the World in 80 Days, by Jules Verne
Divergent
Stranger in a Strange Land
The Old Man and the Sea
Flowers for Algernon
Au Bonheur des Ogres
The Martian
The Road to Serfdom
De La Terre à la Lune (ip)
In the Light of What We Know
Devil in the White City
2312
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
Red Mars
How to Be a Good Wife
A Mote in God's Eye


want to read: Last Hunger Games Book, Honeybee Democracy, The Bell Jar
The Juanes Module


Juanes just needed his own mod. Who can disagree.
How Zanzibar Got Told, and other tales
Tuesday. 2.13.07 6:16 pm
One day, Zanzibar packed up her things and went to Hydrology Class. Due to a variety of factors, not least of which that her Hydrology Text is deadly boring, (but mostly because she totally forgot) she had not done a bit of the reading for class.
Her good friends Teresa, Gareth, and Sam were leading the discussion of the day so she felt like she could reasonably assume that they wouldn't call on her if she pretended to be engrossed in looking through her papers. However, as the discussion began, Teresa asked several question to which nobody seemed to know the answer (perhaps nobody else had done the reading either!) Zanzibar began to feel uncomfortable, and felt like she should answer a question for her friend Teresa. She waited for her opening. She needed a question that was a little open-ended, that didn't refer to any specific terminology. Teresa said that she had read a little part about the center of mass of the watershed, and she didn't really know what they were referring to. Were they referring to the center of mass of the landforms, or the center of mass of the water itself as it fell across the landforms? Perfect. Enter the first person singular.

I answered that it was an interesting question... I talked a little bit about my understanding of "center of mass" from physics class, and since we were talking about how long it would take for a drop of water to flow through the watershed to the outflow point (and thus how big we'd have to make our storm sewers or whatever), perhaps they were referring to how the mass of the actual water was distributed, because then you could get at the flow time, and thus the lag time on the hydrograph (a graph that shows you amount of discharge in a stream through time) between the peak of the rain event and the peak in the stream. I added a "but I don't really know" to the end.

The prof said that ending an answer with "but I don't really know" wasn't a very good way to end it, because you just gave a whole answer and then you undercut it. He asked Teresa if they'd said "center of mass of the water" or "center of mass of the watershed" and she said it was of the watershed which made her think that maybe it was of the topography. I shrugged to say that I would allow that interpretation as easily as mine.

Then the prof said in his deep, booming voice, "There class, did you see what Laura just did?"
A pause.
"Because Laura is a graduate student, she is very excellent at..." This sentence was starting out pretty good...
"BSing her way through a question to which she has no idea what the answer is."

Pause.

Oooh SNAP. I just got so TOLD.

An undergraduate piped in, God bless her, "And an undergraduate can't do that?"

"Why don't you answer the next question and we'll find out?" I said evenly.

Stunned, my ass having been taken to school, I became quiet as the period progressed. But I was not cowed. Questions were asked and answered and I was calmly flipping through my book, having no idea of even the range of pages that we ought to have read. Sam asked a question with a bunch of technical terms in it, and as the words were coming out of his mouth, I flipped to the page that had, in bold, the answer. I raised my hand and answered his question, dwelling on various points I found to be important and pontificating a little while on the ramifications of the answer on the planning of urban watersheds as a whole. The professor asked the engineering side of the room if they ever considered the things I had said when they planned their drainage systems. They hadn't. He said that maybe they should, and that it was a question we would be sure to come back to later in the term. He made a mark on his paper.
Later on, as he was handing back assignments, he apologized to me for his earlier remark.

Which goes to show you, kiddies... not even this professor, the one guy to ever be so bold as to call me out on my shit (I could feel nothing but awe for him, by the way).... not even he knows the full EXTENT OF MY POWERS. I would like to thank the Lord, who looketh down upon his little sheep who hath gotten Told, and giveth her the page number and the bold-faced type to so that she may be redeemed.

And that's why they say that you get your Phd when you want to take your B.S. to another level.

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My lymphnodes are swell
Monday. 2.12.07 9:18 pm
So apparently my friend got this infection behind his forehead-skin one time, and it made his forehead swell like woah, and he had to go to the hospital and they pumped him full of antibiotics so that the infection wouldn't spread into his BRAIN.

I think it's really weird when your face swells or your sinuses hurt. They say if you ask your average Westerner where his or her "soul" or "being" resides physically, they will usually tell you that it resides right behind the face. We tend to imagine ourselves as located right behind the face, looking out from the eyes. People from other cultures won't always give you the same answer: they are located sometimes in the chest or down in the pit of the stomach.
I think of myself as being located right behind my face, looking out from the eyes, just as they say. So when my sinuses hurt or something, it's weird because you're suddenly aware that there is a layer of skin and other junk that separates the outside world from "you". There is skin, a system of sinuses, lymphnodes, hair follicles and what-have-you... a swelling, infection-getting layer of crap known as your "face" that you hide behind, like a mask.

It also reiterates the sentiment I've previously written about (see: esophagus ulcers)... that is, that there is no point in worrying about things, because you'll worry yourself sick over some thing that you think will happen, and then what will really happen is that you'll get a raging FACE BACTERIA, and your FOREHEAD will swell, and then it will INFECT YOUR BRAIN, and then you will DIE. You weren't even creative enough to START trying to worry about THAT ONE.

Well, I'd best go to the doctor tomorrow before whatever I have in my face-layer gets into my brain.... stupid face.

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Dedicated to Dilated
Sunday. 2.11.07 9:49 pm
Querido Diario,

Ahoy vi uno paciente con los sintomas muy raros. Él se quejaba de que le dolían el estomago y los oídos. Él tenía siempre mucha hambre, y comía mucho alimento pero él no ganía el peso. La semana pasada, él comí ocho quesadillas y cinco burritos, y aunque él se encontraba mareado, todavía tenía hambre. No conocía nunca de esta enfermidad. Pensía que estaría una solitaria, pero las solitarias no molestan los oídos. Pregunté,
---¿Vistó a los otros paises recientmente?
Él dije que vistó a África el mes pasado. ¡Qué mala suerte para la doctora! Todos los enfermidades desconocidas vienen de África. Pensía de mis días a la Universidad de Puerto Rico en Río Piedras, donde estudiaba el medicina, cuando de repente, él empezó de vomitar. Sus ojos se puso muy grande y él sacé la lengua, que estaba verde.
---¡AY! Él gritó. Yo debí lo pegar y lo lanzar a la planta.
Por supuesto, estaba un extraterrestre, que vivía en el cerebro del paciente, y que comía todos lo que pasé para la boca. Cuando el extraterrestre estaba bastante grande, él salí del paciente y se escapó.
No tenamos a menudo pacientes con esta enfermidad, pero de vez en cuando ellos vienen… por eso necessito estar siempre listo.

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La Plante
Sunday. 2.11.07 6:55 pm
La Plante

Elle ne parle jamais

Seulement écoute, toujours.

Je lui ai raconté ce poeme,

et la plante a écouté.

Silencieusement.

Maintenant la plante est entrain de mourir.

Mais elle ne peut pas pousser des sanglots, des cris.

Elle va mourir sans faire du bruit.

Qui m'écoutera quand elle est partie?

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Madness and a Sock Full of Quarters
Saturday. 2.10.07 10:08 pm
Sometimes I think of a conversation, and I turn it over and over in my mind, thinking of how it would go and how I could best tell the story and how everyone would react and what they would ask and how I would respond to their questions and after a long while I think I've got it totally worked out how the whole thing is going to go....

...and then I realize that in order to have this perfect conversation that I've in envisioned for myself, the contents of the conversation (i.e., whatever story I would happen to be telling) would actually have to be true. Then I have to go through a major mental revision because all of the responses that I'd been giving my pretend conversation partner, while self-consistent, are also absolutely imaginary.

I usually have a brief feeling of relief that I came to this conclusion before actually attempting to realize my imagined glorious conversation.... not that I would even actually ever really do that.....so I don't know why I feel that relief for not doing it. But today it kind of occurred to me how sad it is that these imaginary conversations never find a place in real life. For example, today I was getting quarters from the change machine at the laundromat. I put them in my pocket but I imagined that it would set up an interesting situation if you didn't have any pockets but you needed a place to put the quarters so you put them in your sock. Then you'd be walking around with a sock full of quarters. The perfect thing to happen then would be that you'd be attacked by some would-be mugger, and seeing as the only money you had had been transformed into quarters, and they were all in your sock, you could beat the hell out of the robber with it. Triumph! Then the best part would be the part where you'd get to tell everyone about what had happened. You'd start by saying, "remember yesterday when I left to go get quarters?" and they'd remember. And then you'd explain how you had to put them in your sock, and then you'd say how you were attacked, and your listener would be aghast! Then they'd say, "whatever did you do?" and you would say that, incredibly, this was the one day when you had on your person the perfect weapon, and that you'd beaten the crap out of him and escaped unscathed. I get halfway into watching their expressions and thinking about what an amazing coincidence that was when it occurs to me that it was only a coincidence because I just set it up that way in my mind. It would only be an amazing coincidence if it ACTUALLY HAPPENED. So you start to think about how you should find someone to whom this actually happened so that you could relate the story second-hand to your friends.

Then you start thinking that maybe you should get your head examined....

I think that must be the way that authors operate. They must be constantly thinking of crazy coincidences or really witty repartees, but in order for their repartees to be witty, both sides of the conversation have to go exactly as they want them to, and events have to be as such that their witty verbal sparring has a particular resonance with the events that have just been happening which give them extra meaning. Of course the words on their own would have no meaning at all, they would just be the product of the author's imagination, thinking "if this long series of events happened, and then the straight man set up the drift of conversation just so, I could be interesting/witty." But... none of that actually did happen.
That must be why people write books.

So maybe, next time I write a book, I'll put in a guy who was going to get quarters and then beat another guy into the ground with a sock. Because what a crazy coincidence that would be, non?

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Friday. 2.9.07 12:04 am
AND THE PLOT THICKENS

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Prudent use of Time
Monday. 2.5.07 7:32 pm
Well, life has just been getting more and more stressful as the days go by. First my advisor didn't want me to drop any of my classes, giving me four instead of three (two of which are MATH out the waaaazzzoooo). Since I am eternally trying to weasel my way into the next expedition to Antarctica, I asked early on if I could "sit in" on the Antarctic Dry Valleys class that he teaches. My thinking was that I could make myself a presence that he associates with Antarctica, make some insightful commentary on the goings-on, prove to him that I can carry heavy things and stand the severe cold, etc. Welllll now it seems like I've been upgraded to a full, participating member of the class, complete with presentations and a term paper. Great. So now I'm in five classes.
Then add in La Vida Secreta, which meets four times a week at EIGHT in the morning.... and you can soon see that I'm in waaay over my head. I haven't had this many classes since high school. Yeah, high school, remember that, when my first class started at 7:20 and I usually had one 50 minute period off for lunch and that was it til' 2:44???? Well, at least I got off at 2:44, that seems so early now... but if you think about it, I usually had practice at 3:15 and that went until just as late as I stay now. Only I was in good shape and got to run around and feel the fresh plains air in my lungs instead of the FREEZING, BURNING feeling that comes into my lungs when I ride my bike home at 7:30-9 at night through the Providence winter, making my nose run and my crown ring!

So in order to keep myself from going completely INSANE, I put up a post-it note whereupon I wrote a list of the classes I am expected to attend, just so I can keep track of them all. This way I can go through each of them and think about if I have homework in any of them. I know I can handle this now... but what I don't know is if towards the end of the semester things will, as they always do, spiral so far out of control that I will spontaneously combust. I won't even be around to calculate whether or not the function that described my spiraling predicted for combustion or whether it was a hyperbolic function that predicted WAVES. That's how out of control I will be.

My other idea for keeping my mind together is to write a little bit throughout the day. I've been working on this poem I thought of when I was walking home the other day through the FREEZING cold. It's about someone in the process of going blind. That would be a pretty terrifying experience, you would feel like you had just begun to slide down a steep slope into a deep abyss, and you'd like to use your arms to arrest yourself, but the muscles you need to use are ones that your conscious brain has never known how to control. You can't will your eyes to the back of their sockets in an effort to reconnect your optic nerve. Anyway, I decided that I was going to reorganize this poem and write it in iambic pentameter today during class, but man, that is so hard. My high school teachers used to tell me that Shakespeare carefully considered every single word he used in his poetry, but I never believed them because hello, who thinks about every single word? But truth be told, if you've ever tried to write in iambic pentameter, you have to think about every freakin' word, otherwise they don't fit. And I also like writing in heroic couplets, which adds an extra level of difficulty. There was this guy, I think he was Alexander Pope, and back in the day he wrote in entirely heroic couplets. That's why I personally enjoy reading his poems more than the plays of Shakespeare. Of course, Shakespeare's stuff probably has more enduring meaning and truth, but I love the way Pope's stuff rolls off your tongue, it's like singing. By the end of the class (which is like 2.5 hours long) I had a stanza and a half, and it was in iambic quadrameter, if that's even a word. I guess I'll just have to work on that in my spare time. "Spare time" hahahaHAhaaHAHaha "spare time", I crack myself up.

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This comes pretty close to my personal motto
Sunday. 2.4.07 3:50 pm
"I believe in the supreme worth of the individual and in his right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty.

I believe that the law was made for man and not man for the law; that government is the servant of the people and not their master.

I believe in the dignity of labor, whether with head or hand; that the world owes no man a living but that it owes every man an opportunity to make a living.
I believe that thrift is essential to well ordered living and that economy is a prime requisite of a sound financial structure, whether in government, business or personal affairs.

I believe that truth and justice are fundamental to an enduring social order.
I believe in the sacredness of a promise, that a man's word should be as good as his bond, that character-not wealth or power or position -is of supreme worth.

I believe that the rendering of useful service is the common duty of mankind and that only in the purifying fire of sacrifice is the dross of selfishness consumed and the greatness of the human soul set free.

I believe in an all-wise and all-loving God, named by whatever name, and that the individual's highest fulfillment, greatest happiness and widest usefulness are to be found in living in harmony with His will.

I believe that love is the greatest thing in the world; that it alone can overcome hate; that right can and will triumph over might."

--J.D. Rockefeller, Jr.

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