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
Thursday. 2.23.06 11:27 am
Emery: Welcome back!
Oxtoby: from where?
Emery: oh, to Pomona College... I assume you are an alum...?
Ox: um... yeah, actually I'm the president of Pomona College
Carlos: You know that song "La camisa negra" by Juanes? It is banned in Germany!
Me: oh really! Why is that? What is the meaning of that song?
Carlos: Well, in Columbia where I am from... well... actually... I have no idea. He says he has a black shirt. I have no idea why.
Wednesday. 2.22.06 11:52 am
I'm going to love you
Like nobody loves you
And I'll earn your trust making memories of us
The Play by Play
Tuesday. 2.21.06 8:15 pm
yesterday I woke up. I called and wished my sister a happy birthday. I talked to my dog on the phone. I went to a math meeting that didn't happen. I was late because I was thinking for too long. I filled out an application. I went to lunch. Michael hugged me and that is one of the best kinds of hugs that exist. I told Edmund that I wasn't sure if I was ready to date people just yet. After all, it's only been a little more than 2.5 years since I last dated and don't want to rush myself. I went to hammer practice- I was late because I went to lunch too late. I was thinking about how one minute a dog is a living, writhing, soft, furry warm body and the next it is cold and it will never be warm again. I threw with two turns for the first time. I threw a PR. I raced back as fast as possible to the geology building to meet with my structure professor on matters of zircon geochronology. For the fourth week in a row, he didn't show up. I worked on the computer until 2:45 when I had mathematical modeling. I wrote some song lyrics in my notes. I went down to the track early and lay on the steeple chase barrier. It was hard to balance, so I finally collapsed on the grass. I was the only person running short sprints. I shot out of the blocks twice (we even had a starter pistol!). Then my quad was hurting and they made me stop. I wish they wouldn't make me stop. It's my last season, I don't care what I feel like, I'm not injured! What kind of track practice is it if you run half a mile to warm up, 3-easy-one-medium-one-hard 100s and then two lousy 30m starts and call it a day. I lifted a lot and did a lot of push-ups and now my triceps are sore. I left and raced to my room so I could study for my test. I didn't eat any dinner, but I wasn't hungry. I was thinking about whether or not it was better to give people a chance or worse to enter into a relationship that you know beforehand is dreadfully unbalanced. I didn't study for my Life in the Universe test more than five minutes because I was looking for a picture of my dog to put on the facebook. I was late to Life in the Universe because Kristi was walking in my general direction so I didn't take my skateboard. I had brought an article about Mars for extra credit, but I'd forgotten to write a free-response essay about whether or not I think we should send signals into space. Ashley was in the same boat so we both wrote one while everyone was chatting about articles about Mars. I said it was fine with me, if that's what people felt like spending their money on. I took the test and it was not difficult. The chapters it was over were about the geological history of the earth and possible theories concerning the origin of life. Hello, I'm a geology major. I ate two cookies and it took me forever to guess Ashley's hangman word: quixotic. I kept thinking it had to be "antibiotic" but the spaces were all in the wrong places. I stumped him for a while on "kazoo". I enjoy lots of different kinds of people, but I am simply delighted by Ashley. He's so damned clever and he's always got a mischevious sparkle in his eyes. And what amazing eyes, too. He was in my acting class and I liked watching him act because it was the only opportunity I had to examine his startling eyes for as long as I pleased. He and his girlfriend, should they ever marry (which they should!) would have simply stunning children. Sitting with Dan and Ashley through that endless elementary-level seminar class has to be one of my favorite times of the week. After class I should have gone to seaver south to retrieve the paper I have to write an essay about, but I had forgotten my keys in my room, so I went home. I did about half of my petrology assignment, but I was so sick and it was almost 1am, so I fell asleep. I didn't do my essay or my assignment, which is probably the first time in all of college when I haven't done everything in my power to have an assignment in on time. So there is my token gesture toward second semester seniorism. It doesn't feel good at all, I'm still tired and now I have my math paper due tomorrow AND a petrology essay to write. I went in early and finished most of the problem set that was due, went to class, met briefly with Bob whom I've been avoiding since I haven't any concrete thesis results to show him. He walked in just as I put my head down on the keyboard in utter frustration at trying to do petrology and arrange my traveling schedule for the next month. He wants to leave early for our conference in April which means I will have to miss mathematical modeling and petrology and my lab job. He asked if it would take a little piece of my heart to miss math and it will. Instead of doing the petrology I looked through my emails and took the luxury of deleting ones I didn't need. I skipped lunch to finish the problem set. Then there was lab and I drank my professor's entire bottle of water thinking it was mine. I crept out of lab to call the travel agent and book my trip to WashU St. Louis. I've called her so many times but she's never there. I called her right after 2 which is right after 5 on the east coast where she apparently lives. Bitch. WashU is wondering why I haven't booked my flight yet. That got out at 4 and I wasn't even half done with the lab work. I noticed that Kittell scrunches his eyes around the eye-pieces of the binocular microscope just like me. I rushed as fast as possible to track but I got there late and the sprinters had left on a 15 minute run without me. I caught up with them and we ran for 3 minutes over time which was fine with Lindsay but hard on the rest of us. We did plyometrics and pulled the sled for a while, hurdle drills, done! The shortest practice ever. We went to dinner and I sat with the track team. We are going to play frisbee and tie-dye shirts on Friday. I've been coughing so much I think I'm going to throw up my lungs. Track made me feel better, though. I couldn't pull my pants up high enough to attach ice to my quad, so I put the ice in my pocket where it lay right over my injury. It started leaking in my pocket which was unideal. I came back home with a whole hour for me to get started on that overdue petrology essay. But instead I wrote this. Now I have four minutes to get to my math meeting. Hopefully this one actually takes place because the paper we're writing is due tomorrow.
Edmund said that he was a nice guy and I should give him a chance and that he would treat me very well. If I were someone who needed to have a boyfriend and I always went out with jerks just so I could have somebody, then I would berate myself and say, "take this chance, he'll treat you nice". But really, I don't need any boy to take care of me and I don't need any boy to tell me I'm wanted in order to feel that way. I'm kinda just chillin' and being cool where I am at the moment. So I'll sit back, not needing anyone, until somebody comes along who makes me feel like I do.
Just a little too attached to this place
Monday. 2.20.06 4:21 pm
Seaver South is a quiet building. Even when it is full of people, it radiates silence enough to drown out all sound. It is quiet, but not peaceful. It is quiet in the way a building is when there are strange machines working through strange hours of the night on unknown tasks, behind just a few too many doors and down just a few too many floors
to be heard above the silence.
Monday. 2.20.06 2:24 am
It has been a tough year for us. We lost Grandfather. We lost Callisto. We lost Obelisk. And now we're losing Honey.
Life in the Universe
Thursday. 2.16.06 12:47 am
They asked us in my class Life in the Universe to say whom we would save if a gigantic asteriod were coming to destroy the Earth. I forgot about the assignment and was therefore secretly writing it in class along with everyone else. I adopted the persona that I so often had in economics class. I said that I wouldn't save anyone at all. I said that whoever survived would survive because they happened to be better suited to the conditions on the new Earth, and therefore nature would have its own way of picking those whom it wanted to continue. If you messed with such a scheme you would only get humans ill-suited to life on Earth who would die anyway. There is the possibility, of course, that the human race would be wiped out entirely. I said that this would not be a great tragedy, as in the space of geological and astronomical time we are but a speck upon the record and just as insignificant. Perhaps, I mentioned, there is some other intelligent species that hasn't yet had the opportunity to evolve- our dominance of the planet is the only thing that is holding it back! If you think about it, were it not for the death of the dinosaurs, mammals never would have radiated to the extent that we see them today and humans may have never existed. To fight the asteroid, I concluded, would only be a delay of the inevitable.
Dan read it and said that he'd never heard anything so depressingly nihilistic and he felt like he had to go pray so that he could get rid of the feeling. I think he needed reassurance that I actually believe in God and all the things I said I got from somewhere besides my own god-fearing mind. Well, I do believe in God, but the things that I wrote seem to me to be the only natural conclusion a hard-core evolutionary scientist would come up with as an answer to the question of the meaning of life. So why aren't all scientists nihilists? Why do scientists couch evolution as a process to some kind of pinnacle of complexity? There is no POINT to evolution! There is no GOAL. The fact that life keeps getting increasingly complex stands against the basic laws of thermodynamics. If everything in the Universe naturally tends toward a low energy state, life would follow suit and tend towards the state with the highest entropy. But it doesn't, does it?
Anyway, I like to write treatises like that when they give us a free-thought experiment. I like the ones that make the professor choke with an extremely human knee-jerk reaction against the idea of a completely pointless existence and then try and reconcile this strong internal feeling with my arguments- all of which are natural conclusions to his own professed beliefs.
Memories from Junior Year
Tuesday. 2.7.06 10:39 pm
I really wanted to say, "Bromide" but for no reason. He would have immediately said "yes" but then he would have repeated me quizzically and changed his answer to "no". He would explain why, even if I told him that I had said it on a whim. He would say what Bromide was actually used for, but by then I would have moved on to think about bromliads. He doesn't know anything about bromliads... well, he's not expected to, but he probably does. He is my favorite professor. I'm going to marry some guy like that (only my age, of course). But when he gets to be that age, he'll be like my professor. He'll undoubtedly wear glasses. He'll tell jokes and no one will laugh but me. He won't be a professor but if he was he'd get chalk all over the back of his pants. If he was gone til 10 on Mondays and Wednesdays he'd be sorry about it and he'd come home to my arms and tell me that it was only a matter of time before he made enough money so that he could come home at a decent hour and he'd mean it and I'd tell him that I loved him no matter what time he got home and I'd mean it.
Sunday. 1.29.06 10:35 pm
My rabbit died. Her name was Obelisk. Here is a poem for her:
Rabbit as King of the Ghosts
The difficulty to think at the end of day,
When the shapeless shadow covers the sun
And nothing is left except light on your furâ€”
There was the cat slopping its milk all day,
Fat cat, red tongue, green mind, white milk
And August the most peaceful month.
To be, in the grass, in the peacefullest time,
Without that monument of cat,
The cat forgotten on the moon;
And to feel that the light is a rabbit-light
In which everything is meant for you
And nothing need be explained;
Then there is nothing to think of. It comes of it-
And east rushes west and west rushes down,
No matter. The grass is full
And full of yourself. The trees around are for you,
The whole of the wideness of night is for you,
A self that touches all edges,
You become a self that fills the four corners of
I like it because in the part I did not include it refers to the rabbit as "black as stone" which is what Obelisk was. Black, with specks of white like sugar on black velvet and dark chocolate spots on the top of her front feet that you can only see in the sun. She was 10 going on 11 years. L. Nickerson says she had a rabbit that was older but may I say respectfully, I do not actually believe her.
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