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. 1.7.06 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.
This is more of a note to self
Wednesday. 1.4.06 8:55 pm
When I invented them, I always thought that Jasper was more like me and Dakar was the more invented character, a kind of amalgamation of many different people I've known. Dakar began as a sort of stock character, he was the serious face to Jasper's smile, he was the one of the pair that needed to be shown what life was really about, he was the one who needed to relax, he was the one who learn how to trust his friends and stop trying to do everything himself. Jasper was more of the free spirit, he made some mistakes in his romantic past, he was a bit of a wanderer, but he had a really clear sense of what is right and what his purpose is in life. He knows how to have a good time and how to make the best of a bad time. He is a loyal friend who could be the one to get past the barriers Dakar refuses to dismantle out of his distrust.
But as I delve further into Dakar's past, it isn't like I am "making up" where he came from. Where he came from follows naturally from who he is: I don't have to make it up as much as I just have to do some more research on it. I don't invent his past, I remember his past. I can't remember Jasper's. I'm going to need to spend some time on him, figuring out where he came from, why he's willing to devote himself to someone like Dakar. I can't get over the new feeling that Jasper isn't me at all, or he's the me that I'm not in very good touch with at the moment. More and more, Jasper is the one I don't understand. What are his motivations? How did he grow up to be the way he is now? I don't know. I might have to make that part up. That might be work. Remembering Dakar isn't any work at all.
For the insomniacs
Saturday. 12.31.05 4:31 pm
If you wanted to read the fascinating paper on gamma ray bursts that I helped write, here it is!!!
I contributed most directly to figure 19, I believe. I don't know, I haven't even read the whole thing!! HAHAA
Hooray, I'm an American
Friday. 12.30.05 11:15 pm
Dogs and Rabbits
Friday. 12.30.05 10:05 pm
One day my bones will also grow frail
One day I will stand at the edge of a luscious field and I will not be able to romp amid its grasses
One day I too might eat with gusto and walk with difficulty
One day my hair too will be dull and coarse
My eyes no longer as bright
Perhaps I too will look upon the world I have spent a lifetime learning to navigate and not remember anything I need to know
Someday my caretaker will excuse my pains and difficulties as the inevitable consequences of my advanced age
Today I am young
Today my eyes are bright, my bones are strong, and my hair is glossy.
Today I have legs.
Today my eyes and mind are sharp
Today I have my whole life before me
Someday I too will grow old, and all that I am now will fade like a shadow with the coming of the night.
If I'm lucky.
Thursday. 12.29.05 1:33 am
I spent the day writing my statement of purpose for Notre Dame. I told them a little about my travels and how visiting countries affected by the tsunami made me want to build earthquake and tsunami-proof structures tall enough for people to be saved from the rising tide. They have a whole class in how to build earthquake-proof structures and wind-proof structures too. Once we start building stations on Mars we'll have to think about making some serious wind-proof structures or they'll never last in the vicious planet-wide dust storms that Mars has every so often. In fact the last time I looked at Mars through a good telescope, you could see a dust storm, pole to pole, obscuring the polar ice caps and everything else recognizable about Mars. Anyway, there aren't a whole lot of planetary geology courses to be taken at Notre Dame according to the catalog, but they waived my application fee and I want to save the people of Indonesia, who are always dying by the thousands because of this that or the other thing. If we can at least save them from the "buildings collapsing and killing people in an earthquake" thing, then we'll be doing a fair amount of good work, I should say.
It's tough, you spend a day telling the school why you want to go there, there and nowhere else, and by the end of the day you totally believe yourself, and it's hard to remember why you ever liked any of the other places you are applying.
Hooray for Notre Dame!
... I should have applied for some Masters programs.... hmm...
The Tail of the Rabbit
Tuesday. 12.27.05 10:47 pm
Well, I took the rabbit to the vet. The substance that had contaminated my hands was a result of the rabbit having soft stool that stuck to her backside and all the hair on her stomach... in order to clean her up I had to dip her in water and pull it out of the hairs with my fingers. It was one of those things that you do for an animal because you really love it, just like you wipe the ickies from the corners of your dog's eyes, just like you rub your guinea pig's scabby pus-dripping skin with ointment (like my sister did for her guinea pig), because it needs to be done and the animal can't do it by itself. It must be what a mother feels like, and why a mother seems to be able to do a million totally gross things that no other normal human being would ever do.
The vet said he thought my rabbit wasn't as skinny as he imagined it was going to be. (She has a good appetite!) He also said that the top of a rabbit's life range was about seven, and Obelisk is going to be ten in the spring. Most of her problems, he said, were probably simply due to her extreme old age. In all his years of practicing, he'd never seen a rabbit so old, he said.
I guess so. She's just been so fat and healthy with shiny hair and perky ears for so long that it's weird to see her not in her top form. She's been dragging one of her legs a little and her heels are bald and pink. Her eyes were constantly tearing with one always smaller than the other and her ears were scaly on the outside. The vet gave her about five or six shots of IV fluid through a huge syringe into her back to rehydrate her. He said that she was dehydrated and so her eyes weren't filling up the eye sockets like they should. The eye compensates by filling the empty space with fluid, which drips out of the eye onto the face and keeps it constantly wet, eventually making the area around the eye slightly bald. He put some vitamins in one shot and some anti-biotics in another. It took four different shots (for the other syringe-fulls he just left the needle in and switched the juice instead of making a new hole for each one) so she wasn't really that happy about it. The vet tech had to hold her down by the ears to the table. I thought maybe the vet visit alone would kill her in her old age. But she's a hardy old bunny rabbit. Now I have to feed her all sorts of weird foods like kale, romaine lettuce, turnip greens (and basically everything in the produce section that no one ever eats, says the vet) plus the really gross, wet kind of cat food like the ones they put on little glass stands for really spoiled, fat, fluffy cats.
When we were checking out, the lady said, "Enjoy your salad. With KALE" in a really scarcastic voice and I had to explain that we were making a salad for a rabbit....
The regular vet came back today (the other one was a holiday substitute) and he asked after the rabbit on the phone. When he heard how old she was, he too was taken aback and said that that's the oldest rabbit he's ever heard of in his life.
Somebody has to care about the rabbit, you know. Most people in the family don't even call her by name or sex. Obelisk, the black rabbit: female, 9.5 years of age. Formerly Misty when she was just a baby. I've known her since the day she was born. She's a long liver because she's of good breeding stock, I say. Most people don't know that when she's sitting in the sun, you can see that she's got a spot of dark brown fur on the top of each foot, amid the black and the uncommon scattered white hairs that lie in her coat like sugar on velvet, or stars in the sky.
Poor poor rabbit needs your thoughts and prayers
Wednesday. 12.21.05 11:23 pm
Hm, that last entry took a lot of fast typing in order to get down all those words. That little game I play, typing lyrics while the song is playing, is the one of the things that really made my typing speed out of control. That, and being addicted to IMing....
If people knew where my hands had been today, they would never want to shake hands with me or touch anything after I'd touched it ever again.
Just throwing that out there.
But hopefully my rabbit will feel better, she has felt pretty crappy for the last while, and what I just did to her did not make her any happier. But! She'll feel better in the long run. (hopefully)
watching: my rabbit
listening to: Mandy Moore
mood: tired and sore
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