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
Monday. 10.31.05 9:55 pm
The night was getting late, but we had finished dinner and we were still hungry. Oddly enough, next to that dingy little restaurant with the unidentifiable peices of bleeding meat in the window, the man under the orange light hacking pieces off for customers, there was a 7-Eleven. It was even rumored that if one sat on the curb in front of this 7-Eleven with one's laptop, one could get free wireless internet. Who would bring their laptop to this part of town, and who would dare put their feet out into that street even as far as that gutter, I did not know.
We looked around the store; there were Mars bars and Nestle bars and Sprite Ice, a kind of Sprite that made your mouth abnormally cold and refreshed. We usually passed one around like we were taking drugs, because that's what it felt like. We knew there must be something in there that wasn't FDA approved, or everyone in America would have one. And another one. and another one, please? Everything there was so familiar and yet slightly different, as in a dream when you find yourself in your house but when you look back on it nothing inside was quite like your house at all.
Maggie and I bought a Vienetta. How long had it been since we had had a Vienetta? It was 6 Hong Kong dollars, we had to buy it. It was mint.
When we got back to our room on the 15th floor of the Panda Hotel in Kowloon, we discovered that we had no spoons, so we each tore a bit of cardboard off the box and we ate that Vienetta, the whole thing, just between the two of us. We said it was for all those times that we had to share it with the whole family and no one ever felt like they got enough. It was hard to eat it with the flimsy cardboard and we spent the whole night laughing and licking the melting ice cream out of the box and feeling by the end that incredibly, there was such a thing as too much Vienetta.
As we fell asleep we could hear the strange opera music coming from behind our headboards that we weren't quite sure how to turn off.
I'm sure there was a knob, somewhere.
Sunday. 10.30.05 11:36 am
So today there was daylight savings time, which is confusing because I believe they passed a law to extend daylight savings time for a couple of weeks, but I guess it doesn't actually take effect until next year, when they have a chance to change all the calendars. Thus I was an hour early for my hair appointment. I guess I'll have to start walking back there soon; I came to Oldenborg because it was the closest place I could kill time online. ha. I miss killing time online. I'm such a killer. Last night was Harwood Halloween. Last year my sister Katherine was there, which was pretty sweet because we went to the party which was lame like always, and then we went to the subfree party which was pretty fun but Katherine cut herself up on the bouncy thing we were playing on when she got whipped back by the bungee cord. This year the party had the potential to not be lame, as it was held in the new parking garage. This is excellent because they kept the location a secret until the very last minute, and also because it muffles the noise so the residents of Claremont can't make noise complaints. The problem with it turned out to be that the whole line to get in the party ended up being on an incline, which caused everyone to bunch at the front, start pushing each other, things got a little out of control, the bouncers were panicking, some people got thrown to the ground and cuffed, they threatened to shut down the party... etc. I ended up being a gypsy instead of a ghost, and that was fun. It was pretty great because all of the senior girls I saw (with very few exceptions) had hilarious random costumes that were really modest; whereas all the freshman were dressed as playboy bunnies and whores and prostitutes and anything else that meant they could wear clothes that were never meant to see the light of day. It got the attention of the senior guys, yes it did, but not exactly in the way I think they hoped. The best costumes, in my opinion were these: Cyrus, Caroline, Alex, Annie, Chris and Rory were the Planeteers, with Cyrus as Captain Planet. It was great, they all learned the Captain Planet song and they sang it for us at the party we had. This also led to one of the best single moments in the evening, when the song "Toxic" came on and Cyrus yelled, "WHAT! Something is TOXIC? OH NO!" He also reminded us throughout the night that we shouldn't pollute, and that saving our planet was the thing to do. Dan was a magic 8-ball. He wore all black and pinned a big black 8 in a circle to the front, behind which he had stuck a whole bunch of tiny slips of paper that all had fortunes on them. Fritz asked the 8-ball, "I am I going to get laid tonight?" and the 8-ball said, "HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA No." Ok, time to get my hair cut!
It's time for Halloween!
Saturday. 10.29.05 2:37 pm
woo.... what a week. There was that one all-nighter, followed but a full day of class and rushing to get things in (no lunch)... followed by a nighttime visit to seaver south to finish my geology lab which was due Saturday morning. Due to the all nighter, I fell asleep on my lab, and then woke up enough to slip onto a couch. It was really cold, so I had fitful dreams until I woke up at 4 with my feet under me... and completely asleep. I tried to get them to wake up--- oh the pain! I experienced how hard it would be to walk on your feet if you couldn't feel them... you take some things for granted, for sure. Then I worked on the lab from 4 until 9 (except for when I was writing a million IMs to Bristow, heh heh), turned it in, and went home, sleeping from 10:45 til 11:20. Now it's time for Halloween. Not too much time for Halloween, though, because we have thesis deadlines next week! dammnnn, I need a pumpkin to carve, for sure.
Being a senior sucks. Kiddies, make sure you enjoy your years in college, if you are lucky enough to get them. THEY WILL END.
Listening to nothing
Thursday. 10.27.05 4:55 pm
I think I'll write a song
and the song will not be about love at all. Because there are so many love songs, and not nearly enough songs about getting massive amounts of homework done in limited amounts of time. A majority of the population should be, if one examines it, either too young to be looking for love or already married or too old and without a desire to start something new. However, the majority of songs are about people looking for love, which is primarily in the age range from 15-30ish.
So why is it that so many teenagers and 20-somethings are glued to their ipods and computer mp3 collections? Because all of the songs are about their own lives, and they can relate.
If you are already married, you can look back upon your time dating and think about the heart break and the "I like you but do you like me too?"... you may have some lingering regrets or wonderings... but for the most part, all of those questions have already been answered. You can listen to country music, as quite a bit of it deals with the struggles of married life (perhaps one of the reasons that country draws an older audience as well as the typical audience of youth), or you can just listen to the old songs that you used to listen to which used to remind you of your life.
So let's make more songs! I never listened to music from age 7-13. When I finally did start listening, it was because I had a) a lot of homework to do and b) because the songs started meaning something to me. Nobody writes songs about 7-13 year olds. Nobody ever writes songs about the things that are important to them- their friends, playing outside, inventing games, etc. One of the first cds I bought was Pure Moods, because that's just the kind of cd that would appeal to the kind of preteen I was, lost in a fantasy world in my imagination, dreaming of the adventures I would have when I was as old as Young Indiana Jones and could therefore do anything (age 14).
And let's make some songs for people 30
It's getting late and I'm in Seaver South again
Sunday. 10.23.05 10:16 pm
I like the way that Seaver South smells. It's a little musty: it smells a little like rocks, a little like the huge collection of stuffed dead animals that professor Wirtz had in his back room and all around his ecology classroom. I like the way that it's locked and most of the time I'm the only one here. I remember first semester my freshman year when I wrote my first paper and I wrote "Prof. Wirke" instead of Prof. Wirtz because I thought that was his name. He said he was going to take a letter grade off immediately for that, but he didn't. It smells... it smells like my academic home, and I'm glad we refused to move into the new building, and I'm glad biology left and only the rock people and the EA people remain, because as much as the EA people get on my nerves, they're sort of adorable in their own way. Just like Seaver South. My building, to which only I have the key.
Sunday. 10.23.05 3:23 pm
On Friday night they had a Drag Ball, and we had a fantastic time dressing Rory up like a woman in all of my clothes. (those that would fit him anyway, which was hard to do). The biggest problem is Rory's back, which is much wider than any female's back tends to be. It's a good trick, letting girls dress you up like a woman, because they get really excited about it and fawn over you for hours, helping you get in and out of your clothes, playing with your hair, etc. If you ever wanted attention, there's one way to guarantee that you'll get it. It only works once per group of girls though, it isn't as exciting the second time around.
We went to drop Rory's clothes off in his room and while we were there we decided that I should be dressed up like a man. I wore Rory's jeans and a nice button up shirt of his. I tucked in only one side of it and wore a baseball hat. He even gave me a rolled up sock thing to stuff into my pants which was constantly getting out of place, forcing me to adjust it all evening (welcome to being a guy, they said). The ball was fun and they taught me how to walk like a guy and dance awkwardly like a guy, complete with the White Man's Overbite and other important dance moves. They ended up having a contest for who pulled off being a drag king best, and I came in a close second.
Don't really know how I feel about that.
Dan said that people were asking who I was and saying that I was really cute (a really cute... guy). He said that unfortunately these people were both girls, one straight and one gay.
(As an aside: On Saturday night we went to a party, and RORY ended up MAKING out with the lesbian girl for an HOUR). (This is not the first time lesbians have considered becoming straight for Rory, either, what can I say, I'm in awe)
Anyway, to-day I have to study for my mathematics exam, mostly sequences, subsequences, monotonic subsequences, and other mathematical phenomena that require rigorous proofs. I'm dyin. School. is. killing. me.
And I've become a bit cynical. I see boys and girls flirting with each other and all that occurs to me is what an incredible waste of energy it seems like. All that racing each other around and playing midnight frisbee and chasing each other and grab-assing- it used to seem fun but now I get tired just thinking about it. Who has time for crap like that? Especially since it distracts you from more important things and then eventually doesn't work out and leaves you all tragically sad and distracts you even more.
Sometimes it's so exciting thinking that you have your whole life before you, and sometimes it's so tiring. My whole life left to live? Who has energy for that?
Saturday. 10.15.05 7:18 pm
I miss my sisters. I like having sisters because you can hug them and sit on them and pick them up and lie on them and dance with them and jump on their backs and run into them and fox fight with them and give them big smooches on the cheek and race them to the shower and do their hair and do their makeup and go to the movies and make cookies and clean the dishes and talk to them in spanish or french or jibberish and imagine what the world would be like if it were upside down and lie on the stairs and pretend to be sleeping and try and sleep in the same bed but always fail and sing the national anthem. But mostly lie on them. I like that about sisters.
Monday. 10.10.05 12:18 am
So there was this fish, his name was Callisto. He came into my life at the very beginning of sophomore year when I bought him at the slightly sketchy pet shop down the road. He wasn't the biggest or most elaborate, but I chose him because I liked his color and his attitude. Oh, did that fish have an attitude. Together we weathered heat waves, fin rot, traveling over thousands of miles, a new tank, months of separation, reunion, travel, separation, travel, fun times, sad time. They say that bettas are the only fish (with the possible exception of chiclids) that can recognize their owners, and I believe it. My dad and I could even make Callisto dance. No matter what was wrong or how much trouble he'd been through, he was always hungry, up until the last couple of weeks of his life. He was old and a little sick already, but then his swim bladder got ruptured and he couldn't regulate his buoyancy. I had to put him in a shallow bowl so he could reach his food. Then he couldn't even swim up that far and I had to bring his food down to him on the end of a probe. He still tried to swim to me if I came around, and he seemed to just like it if I put my hand on the side of the bowl where he was lying. Maybe it was the heat that my hand brought to the water. Then a couple of days ago he got dropsy. It's the most fatal betta disease that there is, and there is no known cure. Some people speculate that it is somehow related to kidney failure. A fish with dropsy has a couple of days at most.
I had to leave to go on my geology field trip. I felt a little helpless... but I can imagine what my professor would have said if I had asked him if I could sit out on the field trip so that I could spend more time with my fish.
Anyway, when I came back from my field trip, he was dead. I could use a million euphemisms, but they all come back to the same thing. It was just his body that was dead, anyway. It was clear that the entity that was Callisto was not there anymore. It seemed to linger just a little bit, though, until today, when we buried him in the soft ground outside of my dorm from sophomore year. We decided that that was where he lived his happiest days. Lisa, Ranor, Kristina, Joanna and Akla came too. It meant a lot to me that they came, even though sundays are busy days for everyone. And the really nice thing was that people wanted to come not only to support me when I was sad, but also because they liked Callisto himself. Callisto had a personality very much his own, and people just liked him. They had made memories with him the same as I had. He had become a fixture in our lives in some small and immeasurable important way. We put a little rock on top of his grave and Joanna and Kristina fashioned a little bouquet of purple flowers which looked really nice. Ranor said that the rock I'd chosen looked like a heart if you turned it a certain way, and he was right. So we turned it that way. It was sunny but crisp, my favorite kind of day. All we'd really need is some colored leaves of fall and a little bit of softball and a drive home from high school with the windows rolled down and the promise of a little snow....
I can't go to grad school in California. There are no seasons! Get me off the west coast! But the west coast is pretty great. Maybe I'll try the south-west or the east coast for grad school. Mix it up. See different parts of the country, you know.
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