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
Saturday. 1.28.06 2:47 pm
Whenever I am in a plane, I always begin to think, "What if this plane crashed?" I think about when we'd know that it was going to crash, the terrifying/fun feeling of being in total free-fall... trying to get yourself together enough to clutch your head in the fashion of the featureless, emotionless victims on the tri-fold safety brochure. One has a baby in her arms. One is a child and so is bent in half, everyone else has their arms against the seat in front of him. When the plane slams into the ground, will his arms break against that seat? Will the paltry strength of his arms be enough to hold the rest of his body back from the catapulting, crushing effects of inertia? Probably not. The seat belt will be his only hope.
In the first scenario, I usually die. How tragic! She has died... on the brink of life's adventures, at the tender age of 21, she was killed in a freak plane accident.... Depending upon my emo level for the day, this one lasts longer or shorter, but usually shorter. Then we move on to even more fun fantasies.
In the second scenario, I am the only one in the whole plane to survive. It's for various reasons, sometimes it's where I'm sitting or because I'm the only one without a person sitting next to me, etc. So I live, but the plane is in ribbons and on fire, and after the wave of the crash is over I look up, trembling, to find the person sitting next to me is DEAD. I usually look at the person next to me at this point and try to imagine what they would look like dead, and whether or not I would be able to climb over them to get out, or if they fell on me, would I be able to lift them off of me, or would I suffocate from bad fumes, still alive but unable to wriggle my way from beneath my neighbor! No, I would definitely escape- even if I were severely injured, as long as it was an injury on one of my extremities, I would endure the pain of yanking my leg, broken in four places, from where it was stuck (perhaps I'd have to rip it off!) and escape the burning plane. Everyone would say, "oh no! She was on that plane! Everyone died! Oh no!" but then it would come out that no, one person survived, it was me, I'm in a bad way, but I'm alive. I'd have to do some serious rethinking of my life and priorities, probably. Having been spared by God, I'd have a new soberness in my personality. I'd be a little less exhuberant, more pensive. Sometimes, if I were at a party and everyone was having a good time, I would just disappear. Oh wait, I already do that.
In the third scenario, my personal favorite, I save everyone. Well, not everyone but mostly everyone. I survive the crash, realtively unharmed. Maybe a broken arm or something, but hopefully not. The first people I have to save are the other people in my row. I have to take stock of them as we sit in the plane, ready to take off: Too heavy? Too bulky and awkward? If I had to choose between the two of them, which one would I save? Where are the nearest children? You've got to save them, of course because they are children... not to mention light and easy to throw over your shoulder. Depending on how badly the plane is on fire, I make quite a few trips back to make sure everyone gets out. I assign some of the not-as-badly-injured folks to help people get down the evacuation slide. For this reason, when they tell you to take note of the nearest exit, keeping in mind that it may be behind you, I always do, because you never know- it could be really smoky and you couldn't see the exit sign, or really dark- you have to know where your nearest exit is and whether it is a window or a door. What if there is a water landing? Well then I'd have to remind everyone to remain on the raft so nobody gets wet and we don't have anyone dying of hypothermia or being eaten by white-tipped sharks. Everyone would be panicking because the plane would be slowly sinking, they'd try and do something stupid. I would have to say, "Calm down, everyone, I need you to calm down for me so we can get through this. I'm not leaving this plane til everyone is safe."
I wouldn't add that I was going to leave before we got the dead people off, because frankly, sinking to the bottom of the ocean in a plane isn't the absolute worst place to be buried and I'm not willing to risk my life or the lives of my plane-mates for people who are already dead. But I wouldn't say that because I think it would just remind the living people of their dead friends and relatives and they would get more panicked and we just can't have that.
Then the flight takes place and it's fine and we land and that's exciting because at any moment we could turn the plane the wrong way and it could start doing mad cartwheels down the runway, the wings tearing off, the tail tearing off, the back of the plane is now open, people could fall out! But really that's the best way to crash land a plane because the wings take up all of the energy that the plane previously had traveling at such high speeds when they break, so there won't be as much energy left when we SLAM full speed into the terminal, much to the chagrin of waiting passengers!
But then we land and it's fine and then we don't get hit by any airplanes that are taking off or landing around us on the runways, and we get to the gate, and after all that it's almost a bit of a let-down.
Going to St. Louis?
Friday. 1.27.06 9:25 am
I GOT INTO WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY IN ST. LOUIS!!!
The description of their program is so hard-assed, I didn't know if I'd get in, but I'm in! I'm in! I'm in! And Brown "really wants to set up a time to talk to me about my interests in detail!"
And I'm probably going to get in to Notre Dame!
Bob kept saying I was qualified, but I didn't really believe him. Now Seth and I are rockin' it three ways from Tuesday.
This semester is roxor
Thursday. 1.19.06 1:13 am
Ok, so far this semester is great. I've spent it eating healthfully, working out, playing video games, watching movies, and going to a minimal amount of class, which is just fabulous.
It all began innocently enough on a Tuesday...
Tuesday. 1.17.06 2:43 pm
Today was the first day of school. It was great, I had petrology and petrology lab. I went to track and caught up with all my old track buddies. Oh, man, I love track. It makes me eat healthy, too. This semester is going to be so much better than last semester, fer serious. Last night we watched a movie that took place in one of our dorms here on campus. It was called "Real Genius" and it had Val Kilmer in it. I've heard he's an ass, but I think he's a good actor. He had some great lines in this movie. We watched Top Gun before that and it was really funny because my whole life I've thought of the Iceman as this huge asshole, but when I just watched it again, I realized that he's not really an asshole at all, it's Maverick that's the asshole, the Iceman is just a team player who is looking out for the rest of the men. A leader, really. Like when he says that he's sorry about Goose. Nice guy, team player. Though not letting Maverick have the shot and trying to get it for himself that one time was lame. (and probably killed Goose by putting Maverick in the jetwash). But AnnnnYWay, today I learned how to make a thin section in petrology lab, and that was awesome. Now I'm trained on the grinders and if I want I can sneak down there and make some nice granite bookends. hahaHAa.
Now I want to play video games because there is no way in hell I'll ever have time to do it again for the rest of the semester!
Thursday. 1.12.06 1:06 pm
Once upon a time there was a girl who mysteriously went missing. The only thing that was left of her were two blue sandals that she had left on the beach. Unfortunately, that one clue that she existed is now also missing, as her sandals were shortly stolen by an invisible man with very long legs who is so light, he can practically float on water. The man apparently put on the sandals, walked out over the corals towards Africa, and was never seen again.
Thursday. 1.12.06 12:57 pm
Last night I had a dream. It was weird. But it made it seem like the night lasted forever, so while Erin and Prof Wirth are exhausted from staying in lab til 10:45 last night, I feel rather chipper and well-rested. That is, despite being up since effectively 5 in the morning (due to the time change) and having been traveling about for about 10 hours. I had to take a plane from Denver to Phoenix to Seattle to Pullman, what a circuitous route!
Today we're supposed to bore holes in zircons with the laser for like 10 hours, but we got here before nine and its past 11 and the laser still doesn't work. I feel like I should go and help or something, but I would definitely just be in the way. I feel like a slacker. Maybe I should finish my app for the University of New Mexico. It would be cool to go there, I like Albuquerque. Here is my new favorite quote. It applies so well to everything I've ever done in science:
"Theory is when you know everything, but nothing works. Practice is when everything works, but no one knows why. In this room theory and practice come together... Nothing works and no one knows why."
--Peter Haderslev, Denmark
Tuesday. 1.10.06 2:58 pm
Saturday. 1.7.06 10:47 pm
Does your vacuum cleaner maintain constant suction?
Today my dad and I took my sister up to Wyoming for the start of the new semester. That sister of mine, what a sister she is. My dad fell when he was trying to carry in her 20 gallon aquarium, which is ironic because the only caveat he put on letting her get it was that he would never, ever have to help her move it. By a miracle and my dad's artistic falling techniques, it didn't break, but my dad broke a little, which is no good at all.
In a couple of days I'm leaving for Washington to date some zircons with a laser. I'm going to get to stay at WSU and see my old buddies from the summer. When I look back on that summer, that was what I kind of wish my life was always like. I hardly had any possessions, my room was spare and thus constantly clean, there was a laundry room and a kitchen nearby (but also a dining hall that served us all we needed! with only sort of sparse and healthy foods... I ate breakfast!), we had to work every single day including weekends, and it was sort of expected that we'd show up by at least 8:30am, but it wasn't ever required... we had the work we had to do, we had a rotation of people on the lab machines, so if the next lab machine you were scheduled to use was in use already, you had the afternoon off. If you had the afternoon off you could go to the gym and go swimming or row or get someone to play frisbee with you. In the late afternoon there was dinner and then frisbee or soccer. We were always a team, an amorphous group, deciding to do this or that thing and then pursuing it in no great hurry. Every once in a while we'd go off camping and buy great food and eat it at a beautiful campsite on the shores of Lake Superior. Everyone pitched in to do every job, nobody was a slacker... if we made up a communist nation, communism would work.
And the only thing we thought about was geology, we had one project to devote all our time to and that was it. You could come in at 8:30, saw rocks til lunch, go for a swim and practice basketball, crush rocks til dinner, then go in and put in a good night til about 11:30pm or so, sifting rocks and listening to tunes. Someone would always come and get you if something fun was going to happen, and every Friday we had a big barbeque with all the science kids from every department. Every night the security guard that looked like the guy from T-2 chased us out of the building, every night we snuck back in and separated iron from our powdered rocks and melted rocks in the rock melter and played Science Table Ping Pong, which is hard but really fun. We had "saucy" encounters in the dark room revolving door, which actually weren't saucy at all, and nobody ever misused the equipment or broke anything or gave the security guard any reason to kick us out, and nobody ever wanted to go home to their non-airconditioned rooms, and we spent more than one night as a criss-crossed weave of sleeping worms inside our too-warm bags. And we never, ever felt like we should be doing something else, because there was only one thing to do and we were always doing it. Ah, that was the life. The chance to be healthy and work hard and get to know people without being distracted by all of life's complications.
Of course, I have a lot of things and I wouldn't give them up. I know a lot of people and I wouldn't give them up, either. In fact, I have a great life, and I wouldn't give that up to live the life of an asthetic in an unairconditioned dorm room outside of St. Paul. I like having things and getting things and giving things and overloading my schedule all the time. But Minnesota, despite thy bugs and thy hot summers and thy relative lack of things to do... I love thee. Thanks for showing me what it was like to just chill for a while.
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