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 Cherry Hills Vil, CO
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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
Rain is different everywhere
Saturday. 12.3.05 3:30 pm
The drive from Nairobi to our camp in the Maasai Mara was about nine hours. We left Mombasa at 4 in the morning, took a one hour flight to Nairobi, and then set out in the largest garbage-truck-like buses the world has ever seen. The windows were wide and un-closeable for the best possible viewing of the savanna animals. For the ride out there, they served as wind tunnels and opportunities to call out to people as we passed by.
If one were to drive the distance from Nairobi to the Maasai Mara in the United States, I would be surprised if it took you more than 4 hours. We spent a great deal of time stuggling over rugged roads, stopping, and winding about. We saw some ostrich and topi and a carcass of a zebra that lay half-eaten by the side of the road. No one ever moves things or tidies on the African savanna. It turns out that nature does a pretty good job of that herself, providing you give her generous enough a time scale.
The sun began to set and there were giraffes in the distance, silhouetted against the purple sky. One fellow in our group, Jake, had always dreamed of coming to Africa and taking the perfect picture of a giraffe silouetted against the sunset. He wasn't quite sure if it would actually happen, if Africa actually looked like what all the movies had always advertised. But the Maasai Mara does not disappoint. It is not flat like many grasslands, it has rolling hills and plateaus much like southern and western Colorado. The large animals in the movies are ubiquitous. The classic picture of Africa with the animals against the sun is somewhat easily obtained as there are many ridges and on each a motley gathering of animals waits, patiently grazing until the sun begins to set.
Almost as soon as Jake got his photograph, we saw the rains come down in Africa. And down and down they came, sweeping across the grasslands as cornflower curtain, growing deeply purple-grey as evening turned into night, thick, intense rain, come to drown us in Life, come to make us clean.
We left our things in our tents, chosen haphazardly without knowledge of where any tent stood with respect to the rest of camp. Once settled, we dashed through the swimming drops to a covered wooden structure, sturdily made with chicken wire screens and small bright rustic lanterns of warm yellow light. They'd prepared us dinner, it was leek soup. It was thick and steaming and they ladled it into our simple round bowls as often as we held them out. That's all we had for dinner that night, really, after more than 18 hours of travel, but that's all we needed. I believed that I had never eaten such a delicious meal and feared that I might never eat such a meal again. Leek soup. I got the recipe from the cook, it's like any recipe you might find in a cook book in America, only the Africans use water and the Americans use milk. In America there is an abundance of milk. In subsaharan Africa, there is an abundance of water. What separates this water from water anywhere else in the world? I suppose it is the singular quality that it gives African leek soup, I should say.
We fell asleep to the sound of the laughter of Americans (one of the most lovely sounds in the world, in my opinion) and one of the other most lovely sounds in the world, the African rain.
Saturday. 12.3.05 3:21 pm
The road had been washed away in a recent rain, but the landscape in every direction was parched as if any rain that had fallen here had been drawn out quickly through a straw. There were several sad, weary cones that warned cars away from the unstable left side of the road, and a large, bent road sign reading "FLOODED" that lay in the gully where the water had elected to leave it for the sake of irony.
My first thought when I woke up this morning:
Thursday. 12.1.05 11:19 am
"Is he a good cyclist?
Well, do you mean statistically, or metamorphically?"
I'm not going to pretend that makes any sense at all. Just shows how twisted my brain is.
Wednesday. 11.30.05 1:32 am
If you remember, last time we met I was very ill. I may have looked paler, and lacked my usual luster and sparkle. You could say, perhaps, that I was not as lustrous as usual. If I were a mineral, you might say that I was not adamantine. Diamonds are adamantine, to give you a reference point. I was not diamond-like. I may have been a little graphite-like, to tell you the truth. Greyish in hue and greasy to the touch. So maybe you could say I was how a diamond used to look before it was under so much pressure. Or you could say that I looked like a diamond will look in a billion years when it disintegrates. Because despite what the commercial says, diamonds don't actually last forever.
That's why you have to take things like global warming or not getting an A on your test or not getting to go out with someone or the other with a grain of salt. Because frankly, in the course of geological time, none of that stuff matters. Well, maybe global warming matters, but the fact that it's going to make sea level rise and all that nonsense, well, that's just what global warming always does, and it's done it many many times over the lifespan of the earth. So yes, it may kill us all, sure, whatever, but it's also done that to all kinds of other species that lived on the Earth, so that's not really something to get excited about. Besides, global warming is a lot more benign than global ice age, if we want to get picky about things. I, for one, am really quite relieved that it's a tropical stage we're entering and not a polar one.
But anyway, in the span of astronomical time, global warming is nothing. Right now I'm studying sources of light in the Universe that are 10 billion years old. When we talk about global warming and cooling we're talking about thousands, maybe tens of thousands of years. A blip in time. We suppose that the Universe is 15 billion years old, but we don't really know that... everything we know is from the light that comes to us. We can hypothesize as to how quickly the cosmic background radiation is cooling or how fast all the galaxies are moving from each other and work backwards, it's all fine and dandy... but... it's possible that, from the farthest reaches of the Universe, there is light that is still traveling towards us. That would mean that 15 billion years ago, all of matter wasn't contained in a single point. But we would never know that because whatever wasn't in the point is more than 15 billion light years away and maybe moving away from us and thus we don't even know it exists yet! We might not even know it exists up to the point that the human race ceases to exist and we no longer have gigantic space telescopes and there is nothing on this blue marble who thinks about anything long enough to look up, see it, and realize what it is.
Ah, Memoirs of a Geisha
Saturday. 11.26.05 3:27 am
I have finished reading such a charming book. Not that its plot was particularly charming (though intensely interesting), or that the events were so very splendid (hardship is seldom splendid, though it makes a splendid read), but the fashion in which it was narrated was elegant and striking. It makes me wish to modify the inescapable narration I internally lend to the events in my own life so that I can make the inner words, flowing by like a rushing river after the spring melting of mountain snow, linger slightly longer upon my mind in the same way that a woman whose lost love has just been mentioned in passing conversation and snatches at any pretense keep his name from slipping away.
Time to Write your thesis, foolio
Monday. 11.21.05 9:44 pm
Things I would like to be doing besides writing my thesis:
mowing the lawn
walking slowly down a leaf-strewn lane
riding in a car down Old Georgetown Road
braiding my hair
taking a shower
oh my goodness. sleeping.
taking a bath
painting my nails
reading about Gamma Ray Bursts
going out to eat at Red Robin's
remembering what last summer was like
"hanging out" with boys Carol-Hutton-style
painting a fence
fixing my skateboard
vacuuming my carpet
drawing sun roses
watching the spiders crawl about on the porch
sitting in a patch of sunlight like a cat
watching the hummingbirds in the beautiful tree in the courtyard
listening to a lecture on spiral galaxies
lying face down on the carpet in exhaustion
squinting into the late afternoon sunlight
putting on lotion
filling out friendship surveys
learning to play the guitar off the internet
playing my harmonica to the rolling sea
leaning off the front of fifth deck and letting my hair get sticky with sea salt
dancing the waltz
On the other hand, I would rather write my thesis than do these things:
negotiate a taxi price in India
eat a pine cone
sit on a cactus for an hour
move to Salt Lake City
not write my thesis and fail
Sickness and Publishing
Thursday. 11.17.05 12:38 pm
Oh, I am so sick. Such a sicky.
The stupid doctor's office won't take me til tomorrow morning. I don't know if I can wait that long. I'll probably have Scarlet Fever by then. Stupid doctor. Nobody wants to be around me because nobody can afford to be sick. I bet I caught it from that dumb girl in dance class that I had to dance with. Who comes to dance class when you are sick, right? That's just not considerate. Well, I probably had whatever I had before that.
I'm supposed to write the beginning of my thesis and observe all night tonight. I don't think that's going to happen. My prof was like, "don't observe" and that's great, sure, happy, but that means I have to observe all night on Saturday. :(
On the plus side, we're writing a paper about Gamma Ray Bursts and we're going to try and publish it and MY name is going to be on it!
When I come to speak at some lecture hall someday they're going to be like, "Dr. Zanzibar, PhD Geology, Astronomy and Engineering, published in 7 seven fields of scholarly inquiry." Co-authored a seminal work in the field of gamma ray burst detection and analysis during the gamma ray burst heyday of aught'5. haha, not really. Hopefully I can get a copy of the paper and then I can give it to people to read and they'll be like, "what??" because reading this paper will be like trying to read a paper written in !Xhosa for most people. My prof said I should go get some sleep. Then he said I should probably read the first version of this other paper we are writing and that should help me fall right asleep. haha.
I feel bad because I'm missing his class to fly out on Wednesday and I totally forgot so Seth was like, "you're leaving at lunch, so you're going to miss class, huhn?" and I said, "Oh, no, I'm not going to miss class, I'm flying out right after structure" and then they both reminded me that Astro is after lunch... so I'm going to be missing the class of the professor I was sitting there and talking to... he was like, "Yeah, MY class, don't you remember it?"
oh well. He's a swell guy. He won't hate me too much.
Man, I really wish this thesis section were written. The only way that's going to happen is... you guessed it! I have to write it!
A Night Poem
Thursday. 11.10.05 1:54 am
Oh, to sleep with dreams so sweet
Muse of Night, wing my feet
Too long in shadow, a dreaming dearth
Firmly planted upon the Earth
From this reality I beg me untie
To ferocious freedom by lullaby
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