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
more country songs
Saturday. 9.17.05 5:16 pm
I'm watching you go from room to room
With all your boxes and your broom
Packing up, sweeping out and taking down
From off the wall
Everything that's part of us
Tear my whole world down if you must
Don't even leave one little speck of dust
Make sure you've got it all
Take my heart, take my soul
Take it all with you when you go
Just leave the floor here to catch me when I fall
You stole my pride and dignity
You took it all away from me
Take one last look around before you leave
Make sure you've got it all
Thursday. 9.15.05 11:20 am
There must be a better way
of saying "it's over"
where nobody walks away
with tears in their eyes
To leave when regret
is all you have left...
that's a bad way of saying goodbye
It's My Future, Dammit
Tuesday. 9.13.05 12:52 am
I'm in the library. That means I'm supposed to be working. Getting ahead. Planning for the future. I told that one guy that I didn't want to go out because I was very ambitious for my future and I intended to spend every last minute of this year pursuing opportunity, applying for fellowships and graduate school, making every dollar of this outrageously expensive education pay off triple. It might happen if I had gone to CMC. Apparently their graduates have the highest mean income of any college graduates in the nation.
It was true what I told him. That is what I'm going to spend this year doing. But right now I'm just wasting time, surfing the web, not doing a single thing for my future. So he writes me back and says that it's too bad in my world relationships and ambition are mutually exclusive. His words were dripping with bitterness and judgement. Yeah, so putting it like that does make me seem like one of those total jerks that they have in movies who are so caught up in their greed that they don't even make time for love. yeah, yeah, blah blah blah.
But no, my kind of ambition is not focused on dollar sums, though I will not wax Quixotic and say that money isn't sometimes on my mind. I don't think a lot of kids here even know the meaning of a dollar, and it will be quite an awakening when suddenly they can't live the life that their parents have been allowing them to live for their whole lives. Suddenly raising taxes to cover each and everyone of their pet governmental issues won't seem like the best way to solve the world's problems, I'll wager. My parents did me a lot of favors in that way, I think working at the warehouse was the biggest eye-opener I've ever had- I learned the value of a hard day's work, I learned that there is nothing shameful about any kind of work as long as it is honest, and I learned that there are many different paths a life can take, and just because you come from wealth doesn't mean you'll end up there, not by a longshot. Cut your hair, turn your hat around, and get a job. Getting a job is not hard. Getting the exact job you want/think you are entitled to is a little harder. Life is hard, and for most of what you've gone through this far, all your gifts have been handed to you on a platter. But you have no idea how lucky you are. If you did, there was no way you would even think about screwing it up.
But back to my ambition. Having ambition is not a bad thing. Ambition is not the same thing as greed. Ambition is knowing that there are opportunities out there, opportunities tailored especially for you, and TAKING THEM. 90% of life is showing up... are you just going to piss away all your opportunities because you want to focus on the "more important things in life"? Like what? Dating some random boy I don't even know for a couple weeks and thus WASTING the time I could have been spending getting the Watson Fellowship... time that could make the difference between traveling the world for an entire year and studying what I've always wanted to study and ending up at home, or loitering around school like some unbanished ghost, snatching up table scraps from an idyllic life where you don't belong anymore? Trying to re-enter the womb? That's what everyone else is doing.
Wasting the time I could have been spending writing a thesis that, if good enough, could be integrated into a paper and published in my field?
Wasting the time I could be using to study for the GRE's, so that I could get into one of the most highly selective programs for my field in the nation? If you haven't already noticed, I'm going to need all the time I can get. After all that, if I have time, let's see what else I hold as priorities: taking care of my ailing fish, hanging out with my old trusty friends, getting an internship at an observatory somewhere in Chile, calling my parents, talking to my sisters, joining the mariachi club, rock climbing, building things out of wood, playing the guitar, writing math poetry, and playing dance dance revolution. That's funny, I didn't see "dating somebody" in there anywhere.
It's not like I'm in danger of becoming an old maid. I have quite a few years, people. So chill.
Monday. 9.12.05 3:05 pm
I'm really *not in the mood* for a relationship. I wish everyone would leave me alone. "omg though, I'm so charming, I'm sure I can lure you out of your entrenched anti-relationship position with my cute hair cut and my irresistably quirky ways!" no. you can't.
"omg, you deserve the greatest guy. Why haven't you found him yet? Why haven't you dated 5 guys between when I last saw you and now? I don't understand it."
Listen. Look at my pronouncement of never dating again in the forseeable future as what it is... a pronouncement. It is not a challenge masquerading as a pronouncement. yarg!
Saturday. 9.10.05 1:49 pm
I wonder why people like whales so much.
Like when whales beach themselves near a village, all the people in the village will go out there and try to keep them wet all night long and try to work together to push them back into the sea. Why is that?
Do they just not want rotting whale flesh on the beach near their village? They could eat it before it got rotten, if they wanted. They could be like those dumb people who blew up the whale with the bomb and then bits of whale rained on the town for like 3 hours (oops). But no, I think they really feel for these whales and they want them to live.... But what have whales ever done for us?
It seems like life, as cruel to it is to other forms of life most of the time, deep down feels this bond with everything else alive. So sometimes baby humans are raised by wolves (actually happened at least once!) and sometimes drowning people are saved by whales and lots of times humans take such pity on dying baby birds and foxes with broken legs and beached whales that they commit some selfless act in order to try and make things right.
when brochures make you think
Thursday. 9.8.05 4:59 pm
They have an internship where you get to work with the severely mentally ill. I know a lot of people who would really freak out if they had to do that, but I think I would find it really interesting. Not in a clinical way, like the way my friend Jo drills holes into rats' heads and injects them with q-dots to label neurons and then ties their hands and feet to the table and makes a slit in their bellies to cut their aortas and replace their blood with formaldehyde before cutting out their brains.... (now that's a job that is very interesting to hear about but I couldn't have)... but in a really soul-searching/life philosophy kind of interesting way.
Severely mental ill people raise an interesting question: Is all of who you are (your personality, your character) wrapped up in the neuron pathways of the brain, and thus liable to change as your brain becomes damaged? Or is there a separate entity of You, your soul, which remains unchanged behind all the malfunctioning and the hallucenating and personality changes: someone unmistakably and unmutably You, however far you may have wandered?
I have a lot of compassion for the mentally ill, I think many people in this world are affected to various degrees. I wish people could think of these various degrees of mental illness like the difference between having a broken toe (about which nothing can really be done but it hurts anyway, makes life a little tiny bit harder) to chronic arthritis (it reoccurs and limits you but your life isn't over) to highly contagious or life-threatening (those who are a danger to themselves or others).
But people don't think of it that way. They get freaked out.
I wonder if that is because they also want to believe that there is a part of being, a soul, that cannot change. That your whole personality isn't governed by electronic impulses and imbalances of chemistry, but something completely above and unaffected by these mundane processes of science. When they see someone who has changed, who is acting differently, I think they start to question that belief.
But this is what I believe: I believe that somewhere inside you is your Soul. Your soul is not only you, but it a place you share with God. Your Soul is the You that God knows you to be, despite your pretenses and your mistakes and the airs you put on for others around you. When mental illness strikes, that part is not affected. The bodily you, she or he who lives right behind your eyes in your brain, may be having a hard time contacting the Soul You, who lives inside your ribcage around your heart like a glowing orb, (who knows where it is, it is more of a metaphysical entity), but the Soul You is still there. Without You, your personality may change, but it is really only the outward manifestations of your personality that others can see that are changing. It's like your brain is trying to contact your soul, but its radio is failing. Sometimes all it hears is static. Sometimes it hears other voices, voices of other stations. At first it knows these voices are strangers, it doesn't sound very much like they soul they know they have. But then after a while, the static is frightening. They don't like switching the dial, back and forth, looking for what they know, only sometimes finding it. It is incredibly frustrating. Some are consumed by their frustrations. Sometimes it is because they can't stand being out of touch with their souls.
Other times it is because they keep telling others that something is wrong and nobody is listening. Some don't want to tell others at all because they know the others don't want to hear it. They are ashamed. They are in pain and they are frightened but they can't get help because they are ashamed.
Some take the alternate route... if their connection with their soul is full of static, they will listen to a clearer station, those other voices. How could this station be bad, or even a true stranger, when nobody but the soul with its good and familiar intentions has ever contacted them on this radio before?
But the message that the station is broadcasting may not be a good thing at all.
So no, I don't think mental illness is just like having cancer or just like having a broken hand. It could be as simple as that and soon get better, like certain kinds of depression. I do think that advances in modern medicine and psychiatry, leading to better understanding of the brain (facilitated by Jo and her rats) can give people some of the help they need to rebuild their "radio". But I think it is much more scary than those other illnesses, because while you love and need and continuously use your body, even more often do you channel your soul through your mind. To be without use of your body is frightening, but you have many people there to help you. You have no need to be ashamed. But to have a malfunction in your mind- that struggle is dark, frightening,and plagued with guilt and shame.
On that path, people are most often traveling alone.
it is amazing how much life can suck sometimes
Tuesday. 9.6.05 8:03 pm
Siren of the Sea
Tuesday. 9.6.05 12:24 pm
All awash in roiling foam
Was the cave that made the mermaid's home
Lived starfish, urchins and otters there
and sea weed streamers for the mermaid's hair
By day a seal's company does the mermaid keep
By night she sleeps a dreamless sleep
The tide eases out like mermaid sighs
The endless waves are mirrored in the mermaid's vacant eyes
The waves are high and they bite and tear
Any sailor who ventures to the mermaid's lair
He slowly drowns, there is no air
Among the seaweed chains of the mermaid's hair
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