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
Sand Dunes on Mars
Monday. 1.8.07 9:17 pm
OOoOoOoOooo it's a picture of Mars!!
A really BIG picture of Mars. Love my job.
Circus, CSS, and Campbell's Chicken Soup
Sunday. 1.7.07 6:52 pm
Well, the crack that they put in Campbell's Chicken Soup seems to be working its magic against my sickness, because for the first time all day, I feel like a million bucks.
Or maybe it's rocking with full, floor-shaking bass to my new Evanesence CD.
YOU NEVER CALL MY WHEN YOU'RE SOBER
YOU ONLY WANT IT CAUSE IT'S OVER
hmm... who does that remind me of?
HahAHaha, I was reading SoYouWanna Join the Circus? on soyouwanna.com, and this is what is says:
"Animal Caretaker/Trainer. If you're capable of putting a tutu on a cheetah or teaching an elephant to roll over (but can't get a gig with a circus) look into getting a job in porn. Just kidding. Look into getting a job at the zoo, a variety show, or even at an animal obedience school."
Maybe you're wondering why I was reading this particular How-To? Maybe grad school not quite working out for me anymore?
uh... I was looking for "...learn the basics of CSS" ???
Friday. 1.5.07 9:24 pm
I ran into the side of the door.
I just pushed crtl+V three times before it worked.
My temperature is 97 degrees, whatever that means.
The day is confusing. I'll just have to sleep this one out.
Friday. 1.5.07 6:40 pm
I ended up choosing "I'm much too young (to feel this damn old)" for the defining country song of the moment.
Today I had to square off with my advisor. He thinks I've been making interesting progress on my research, but to be quite honest I had nothing that I believe was anywhere close to being worth publishing. I had found a single interesting crater- and while interesting, one crater does not an Lunar and Planetary Science Conference abstract make. With the abstract deadline on Tuesday and the fact that the two of us hadn't had a meeting since October, I couldn't see how we [I] were [was] going to get ourselves [myself] out of this one.
During our meeting I was pressing him for answers. What should I write? What should I focus on? How should I interpret these things in a safe but assertive manner? He evidently didn't want to talk about that. He wanted to know my opinions on global contraction regimes, on how deep I thought the brittle-ductile transition of the Martian lithosphere to be. He wanted to chat, in that soft, low, calm voice of his, about a comprehensive, all encompassing theory of planetary evolution. Well I'm certainly not going to be submitting that by Tuesday! How irrelevant!!
It occurred to me that he was manipulating the conversation. He's a very complex person, and half the challenge in store for me in being his student (or in any relationship, with anyone, really) is just learning to read him. I relaxed a little and indulged him; he had shifted the control of the meeting from mine to his, but in a kindly way, without aggression. He casually brought up several abstracts and papers that he thought I would find interesting. I did find one interesting... it was a paper he'd written in the early 90s about the very technique I was considering for my crater... only instead of about Mars, his was about the Moon... and instead of one crater, his had closer to 30 craters.
At last he smiled, satisfied with our chat.
"Don't be worried, you don't have to have an abstract to go to the conference," he said. "I've been gone all semester. This is your first LPSC. Just go and have a good time."
I went to my office, where there was a large beautiful hardback picture book with all of the most splendid pictures from the Mars rover mission inside that he'd given me to say thanks for TAing the class last semester while he was gone.
And thus the guillotine blade that had been breathing its cool, impersonal breath upon the nape of my neck disappeared into a kind of rainbow mist, and my body still hasn't had time to physically react to its departure.
Not Tuesday Afternoon
Thursday. 1.4.07 11:31 pm
It was an afternoon. The rosebush was fighting the wind for her petals outside. They whirled away into the mad sky. The scene was violent but distant. The thick pane of glass dampened the affair into indifference. Afternoon, afternoon. It would not last forever, as it was not Tuesday. The shining black floor reflected the ceiling, and through its slanting modern windows, the world outside. A half-empty bottle of lemonade hung precariously on the floor. It was poised to leap at any moment through the reflected windows and into the distorted, black-tinted sky. Shoes filled the corridor with imperious clackity-clacking. The bench gleamed with holes; they were long, thin holes, emergency hatches to the world of the shining floor, guarded by the escape-minded lemonade bottle like an East Berliner. There was no book to appear to be perusing, no pamphlet to pretend to be assiduously studying, no watch to make a show of nervously consulting. Just a pair of black shoes which do not clack in a clackity manner, but rather a thunk-thuk. And a bench, of course, as well as an afternoon. And half a hall full of people made uncomfortable by the sight of unapologetic idleness. And the silent rosebush, ravaged madly, amusing itself in the background like a muted television.
Thursday. 1.4.07 5:52 pm
Caroline asked me what country song I am and why. I know the answer is probably "Great Big Fire" by Diamond Rio:
Well there'll be fear and there'll be doubt
But they're just things that'll slow you down
Just put â€˜em all in a great big pile
And stand back
And burn, baby like a big ol' fire
Build it up with your one desire
And one of these days you just might change their minds
Shine the light, blind â€˜em by
A big ol' fire
A big ol' fire
...or perhaps "Born to Fly" by whoever that is that sings that:
I've been telling my dreams to the scarecrow
About the places that I'd like to see
I say, "Friend do you think I'll ever get there?"
Oh, but he just stands there smiling back at me
So I confessed my sins to the preacher
About the love I've been praying to find
Is there a brown-eyed boy in my future, yeah
And he says, "girl, you've got nothing but time."
but today... in this moment... the country song that I am is "Neon Moon" by Brooks and Dunn:
"When the sun goes down
on my side of town
That lonesome feeling
comes through my door
and the whole world turns
The Year of Our Triumph
Wednesday. 1.3.07 11:36 pm
So it is 2007. Or, as I have decided to call it: The Year of Our Triumph. The "our" refers generally to me and Ranor, but I will generously extend it to all those who intend to make it so.
I believe the New Year was placed where it is mostly to break the winter in half, so that it doesn't seem like a full 3-4 months of cold and dark, but rather a cold fall lasting til Thanksgiving, the Holiday season. Then you start anew! The New Year! So full of new promises!! then there's the Playoffs, Groundhog's Day and President's Day, and before you know it, it's my favorite holiday (St. Patrick's Day) and Spring has come. So basically, it is a ploy.
That is why the world becomes a colder and darker place when the Broncos are tragically denied a spot in the playoffs.
But just because the New Year is a clever ploy to get us through the depths of winter doesn't mean it shouldn't mark the beginning of something wonderful.
Why, you may ask, is 2007 to be The Year of Our Triumph? Good question. The last two years have been stellar years for me- I acheived many of my life goals. But to this year I bring a new attitude. It is one of relentless self improvement. It is one of dedication and hard work. But I will also attempt to remove the blind drive for meaningless acheivement that have motivated me in years past and concentrate on the joy of the pursuit. TO THIS YEAR I BRING DEDICATION TO TRIUMPH!!
And once acheived, I will likely spend all of 2008 basking in said triumph.
The object and general course toward this eventual triumph is yet to be determined, but it will happen, oh yes.
A Christmas Rant
Wednesday. 1.3.07 11:15 am
This holiday season, I have been looking for Jesus. And I don't just mean that spiritually, I have been physically searching for Jesus. It all began at the local Target. I was looking to by a roll of wrapping paper, and I noticed that there was not a single roll of paper that had anything remotely religious upon it. I'm talking- there was no "Joy to the World" there was no "Noel!" there was no "O Holy Night"... nothing! The closest I came was "Merry Christmas" which only appeared on two rolls during my entire multi-store search, and is, in itself, not really religious at all. What did I find instead? Well, there were a lot of reindeer, Santa Claus, snowmen, stockings, sleighs, and every other thing you could imagine which is associated with Christmas but which contains none of those nasty little reminders that a big fat man in a red suit is not actually the reason that Christmas is around.
And so here I lodge a protest. I understand, ye atheists, that you wish to take religion out of everything. That you wish you strip religion out of public places, events and consciousness. That you, content (though in an agitated, restless way)without a God yourself, wish to take God away from those who need Him. That you wish for "Merry Christmas", long an expression of joy in the depths of winter's darkness, long an expression of the common bonds of Mankind through a roughly 5 day span in the middle of December, and turn it into "Happy Holidays", an expression reminding all that religion is made to die before us, and that the holidays of all- the Jews, the Christians, everyone- must be stripped of their individual names so that they go unacknowledged and unappreciated. For calling the holidays by their names would inject religion into the Mall, and religion should have no place except in the derision of those who don't know why it exists.
But to all of this I cannot formally protest. For those who wish to remove religion from the hearts and minds of all who hold it dear, fine. You are working valiantly to that end. HOWEVER, what I do logde a complaint against is the fact that these very same people protest Christmas in another way. They are the same people who enjoy spending their time Raging against the Capitalist Machine. They say that Christmas is only a commercial venture, kept alive by stores and greeting card companies to make money- about only buying buying buying and nothing else.
Well, in case you haven't noticed... when you take the religion out of the holiday, when you take out the "good will toward men" (They didn't mention women, those patriarchal pigs!) THEN YOU DON'T HAVE ANYTHING LEFT IN CHRISTMAS BUT COMMERCIALISM.
You don't have anything left in Christmas besides people shoving each other out of the way to buy things at an over-crowded mall. You don't have anything besides angry shoppers putting themselves into debt and cursing their fellow man. You don't have anything besides the cold realization that there are those more fortunate than you, and that all of the Christmas songs on the radio are about romantic love, which not everyone has... (that's what Christmas is all about, being in love under a Christmas tree, isn't it?!) instead of being about the gift that God gave to the Earth (which EVERYONE gets to share in- young and old, poor and rich, the cold and destitute and the warm contented alike!)
That said, however, I had a great Christmas this year. Just had 4 years of So-Cal Christmas in my blood that I had to get out all at once.
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