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
a country song from me to you
Monday. 8.8.05 10:45 pm
Since you left I've been so busy
So much to do I'm getting dizzy
But if you need some time I guess I could pencil you in
I've got my nose to the grindstone, my head in the game
It's probably the same for you and whats-her-name
Ain't it a crazy world that we live in?
Cause at 5 am I gotta wake up crying
From 6 to 8 I gotta feel like dying
Then hurt like hell til noon when I break for lunch
I'm really swamped from 1 til 3
Drowning in an ocean of memories
There's a mountain of regret to tackle in the 4 o'clock crunch
About that time the mail comes in
Nothing for me but junk again
At least its junk as opposed to nothing at all
Then I gotta rush home so I'm there when you don't call...
maybe my last entry can be the bridge.
living a pathetic existence
Saturday. 8.6.05 11:12 pm
why are you here?
looking for me?
I'm in the same place I'll always be
lying on the floor, thinkin of you
(yeah, that's the same thing I always do)
Third day and counting...
Thursday. 8.4.05 5:50 pm
My feet ache.
My whole body aches. I've been stacking 22-24kg boxes all day long. I got these bruises near the top of the inside of my thighs, I was a little concerned as to how they could have appeared, it's not a part of my body that I usually injure, as one could imagine... but I finally figured out today that I was carrying each box by the straps and resting the other edge against my thighs as I walked. When I went to lift it on top of a stack, I would bring up my leg to give it an extra kick to the top. Voila! Mystery solved.
Edwinn, finishing his Red Bull and responding to being asked 'aren't you coming?' (to get back to work after lunch):
Yeah, I'm coming, I'm just waiting until I grow those little wings...
I really like Edwinn because he's type cast "thug" with the do-rag and the corn rows and the sagging pants but once you get to know him he's this really shy guy with a quiet voice who's hilariously funny.
Today I set off the burglar alarm and I couldn't turn it off fast enough so the alarm people called, but I couldn't figure out how the phone worked so I kind of hung up on them, so then the police showed up, and while they were taking down my license plate number, my friends show up and get out of the car... as Mark said, it probably didn't help that they were two black guys and a hispanic guy... and then Richard takes control of the situation and calmly explains that the huge truck hooked up to the building is ours and we are cleaning out everything inside the warehouse and taking it away. This is, of course, exactly what we were doing... but it doesn't really sound right when he says it like that. Luckily just at that moment, I come out of the building looking like an inept moron that sets off alarms accidentally and the cop was satisfied. haha.
I wonder what the cops would have thought if they found me yesterday, when I was teaching my mother and sister how to break into a house with a credit card. My sister is house sitting, watering all these plants, and she accidentally locked herself out of the house. It's been so hot lately that we were certain that all the plants would die if we didn't get in there soon. My sister really didn't want to pay $40 to call a real locksmith, so my mom and I came over with some screwdrivers and our ingenuity to try and help. Fall semester I became quite proficient at picking locks with a credit card (or a used target giftcard for those who actually need their credit cards), gaining access to ranor's room to steal his PS2 for a couple hours or to wake him up- or getting into my room when I thought I left the key in there ... so I tried the same technique here and I couldn't get it, but I showed my mom how and bam! she got it right away. Maybe it runs in the family.
This I do know- with great lock-picking power comes great lock-picking responsibility... I only pick locks for the causes of good.
here is my poem:
Little boxes, little boxes... siiiitttting full of fleece
little boxes, little boxes, only 50lbs a-piece
Little boxes, little boxes, those on the racks are sure the worst
little boxes, little boxes, I'll finish them today (if they don't kill me first)
looks like the boxes won, because I'll be headed back there tomorrow.
haha, when Adam gave me the security codes for the building, he just pulls me aside and starts writing on this scrap of paper and I'm like, "yeah, you can give me the security code numbers, or just your number" hahah no I didn't say that... shiiitnaw, and then he said, "hey, see you around" even though the chances that I will ever again see that boy are slim slim slim to none. Apparently he's too good to work for the $10 an hour that we offered to pay him. whatev.
to the dreamer leave the sky
Tuesday. 8.2.05 11:16 pm
With weapons of logic they'll bring you down
Pragmatism is the cynic's crown
Beware, Nothing but crticism comes from that throne
Disguising a drunk who loathes to drink alone
But you are high on a dreamer's mead
You choose not to follow where he wants to lead
Blessed are those who from dreamer's eyes can see
Beware the realist who desires all as blind as he
Let the dreamer wander, in a dreamy lullaby
Let the cynics rule the earth but to the dreamers leave the sky.
Tuesday. 8.2.05 11:00 pm
The air was full of moisture. As they often said, it was not really rain so much as it was an aggressive mist. The world was temporarily quiet, awaiting the dawn.
At once the silence was broken by an orchestra of cicadas, who called out in unison as if the event had been prearranged. Perhaps it was an insect's form of advance applause for the coming sunrise.
The dragons lay sleeping around the patient feet of the aging temple. A giant, amorphous tree had split the roof of the ancient gatehouse in half, and its roots spilled down the temple stemps in a smooth, earthy cascade.
Dakar lay at the tree's base, a gnarled corner digging into his ribs and ants trying to navigate his long tail. The mist had made the ground soft and middy and Dakar was trying to create enough friction to rmain on the gentle slope of the tree's roots, at the expense of all the muscles on his down-hill side. He was grateful for the dawn just because he could stop failing at sleeping. He dreded it because he knew the sleep that eluded him was desperately needed by his exhausted body.
There was no sunrise, after all, only a general ligthtening of the sky, a progression from black to a dirty grey and finally a washed out off-white.
The dragons stirred.
Tuesday. 8.2.05 9:44 pm
My sister is reading a book called "When Bad Christians Happen to Good People" by Dave Burchett. Here is a quote that she put on her xanga that I found to be interesting:
"Last night I had a dream. I went shopping with Jesus. We were browsing through a Christian book superstore. He stopped at the What Would Jesus Do? bracelet display. I found out what Jesus would do. He moved on. Jesus picked up the Testamints breath mints and examined them. Next he saw the Jesus and His dog statue portraying a young Jesus with a German shepherd. Did I see Him chuckle? The Jesus Saves air freshener for cars caught His attention. He looked around at the rows of products and aisles of books, row after row of books about Jesus and how to know Him and be like Him and so on and so on. "Why do you make faith so complicated?" He asked quietly. "I didn't say figure Me out. I said follow me." That woke me up."
I think I might read that book one of these days because that is a topic that I run into often in my everyday life. Many people I know would love to believe in something but they are frightened away from Christianity just because they meet simply the wrong Christians and that ruins everything.
Today was my first day of work at the warehouse for the summer and it was very fun. It was quite odd because this fellow had a warehouse in the area which was doing just terribly and he wanted to move all of his product (fleece: blankets, jackets, scarves, etc.) to our warehouse so that we could manage it better. All this was complicated by the fact that he had been trying to manage his own warehouse from New York City. So he asked us if we would kindly come and pick up all of his boxes and transport them in trucks to our warehouse. When we got there we had to wait around the corner... apparently before we stripped his warehouse of product he had to fly in from a meeting in Chicago and fire all of his employees. He was a little afraid that they would be angry and come back and shoot us all with oozies. I told them it would be ok because I was armed with my dad's box cutter. Luckily I didn't have to resort to that eventuality. When we arrived we met the company's one remaining employee, a cute 20-something named Adam. Sure, Adam had been fired just like everyone else, but he technically didn't have to leave until the end of the day and he wanted to make as much money as he could.
The project was supposed to take about three hours, but we could see as soon as we arrived that it was going to take more like three days to complete. There were boxes everywhere, stacked on racks, organized into piles, randomly stacked on each other... everywhere. It was in the upper 90s today, which also made our adventure a little more taxing.
"I can't have my hair long, it has too much African in it... I saw this one guy... I was like, dude, you look like a walking microphone!"
"I've got to get new pants- these pants have more holes in them than a golf course."
"If you wrap that any faster, I think you're going to be traveling through time."
-Mark (of course) to Adam
By the end of the day I think we were all thoroughly convinced that we should hire Adam for ourselves, and boss seemed rather relieved that the one guy he had actually regretted firing that morning seemed to have gotten another job by lunchtime. I got to meet the new guy, too, Edwin. He's really nice. He and Mark dared me to stand on a concrete pilon and do the Karate Kid crane thing, so I did and just as I was assuming the pose Mark whistled really loud so the guys in the adjacent lot would look over. They just looked really confused. :P The ice cream man kept driving by and we considered trying to barter some fleece for some ice cream (heyyyy, you must be so cold in that there ice cream truck! You need a fleece...) and we found the perfect spot in the warehouse for taking extended breaks, as there was a staircase leading to a flat platform next to some huge rolls of fleece fabric. All you need to do is pull out a length of fleece for the bottom and a length of a different color for your quilt and voila! nap time!
Much to the New York owner's chagrin, the job did take more than three hours (6 hours so far)and is still only a fourth finished. I guess we'll just have to come back tomorrow! The owners peeled back Adam's layoff a couple days so he could answer the phone and accept UPS packages and help us tomorrow. Lesson to be learned here: Keep a positive and helpful attitude upon being fired and good things will fall into your lap. Become bitter and go home... and you'll have a bad attitude and no job!
Adam asked us if it was our job to just go around and clean out other peoples' warehouses after they've been shut down. It made me feel like those aliens in Independence Day that "go from planet to planet like locusts, devouring all the natural resources before moving on". We don't usually do that. What a crappy job that would be. It was so weird to be in that place, with all the desks abandoned, all the normal office crap left just wherever it happened to be when the owners showed up this fateful Tuesday morning... the lingering spirits of the recently fired clinging to everything in sight....
This lady came into to buy a couple lengths of mesh in the morning. She said that she had called but she had had to leave a message because nobody answered. I told her that we were right in the middle of moving and I apologized for not answering the phone. Somewhere during the conversation I think it became apparent that all of the usual people weren't there and she started to feel like she had just intruded on something just a little bit sinister. I felt like all the normal employees had been murdered and we were doing a poor job at acting like nothing was wrong while we searched for places to hide their bodies.
mood: calves aching mood
listening to: O-Town- Suddenly (really great song, by the bye)
Monday. 8.1.05 7:39 pm
Phish and Philosophy
Monday. 8.1.05 4:33 pm
watching: my mistakes play like a movie before me
listening to: garth brooks
mood: in suspension
Today I went for a bike ride with my mother early in the day. I've been a lot more active lately, I don't know why, I eat less and exercise more- sometimes I exercise instead of eating, I'm not sure if I'm developing good habits or bad ones. After "lunch" which was basically just one of the cookies my mother was making and a little bit of dough, I played a bit of DDR which thoroughly wore me out.
I played that song that goes, "Nice, sweet, fantastique". I used to have that song, those three words of that song, stuck in my head for days at a time, all because of Michael. He used to play that song, I think, sophomore year, when he wasn't playing Candy. Anyway, having that song stuck in my head made me think of him. I hope things aren't different next year now that Shit Has Gone Down. I definitely believe in the 'sistas before mistas' approach to relationship conflicts, but what if the 'mista' in question is much more like a friend to you than he ever was a 'boy'? How do you choose between feuding 'sistas'? I guess for now I'll just take the Harry Potter approach and while one friend is clearly in the wrong and the other clearly in the right I'll just hang in there, keep very quiet, and hope that eventually there can be a reconciliation.
Somethings have been happening lately that have made me really annoyed, but recently I realized that what this particular guy is doing to me at the moment is not unlike what I was doing to a different guy last summer, and I wonder if what is annoying me so thoroughly is what he is actually doing, or the way I can see this undesirable trait mirrored in myself. Just like I think that everyone needs to have their heart broken (just so they appreciate how it feels when they break the hearts of others), I think people can really benefit from seeing the bitchy crappy things they do visited upon them. That is, if you can admit that what's going on is some sort of cosmic learning experience, if not blatent cosmic payback, and you should take heed. I just wish I had these bad things happen to me before I had a chance to do them to other people, so I would be able to stop myself. They say good judgement always comes from experience, which very often comes from bad judgement. Cruelly true.
Anyway, after DDR I slept until 3:00 in the afternoon when my mother came back home. So much for partying up my last day of freedom before I start work tomorrow. Somehow knowing that I only have at best two or three weeks of work ahead of me makes it way easier to start than the way it is usually, when I have the whole summer of work to look forward to.
In other news, I was cleaning Poisson's fish bowl today (Poisson is the fish we're taking care of for our french pals while they are in France) and I came upon the realization that the technique I had been using all last month during my geology research trip for pouring off clays from the heavier minerals was the perfect technique for pouring fish dirt off the multi-colored rocks at the bottom of the fish tank! It was a problem I had been struggling with for all the time I've had my fish- how do you pour off the dirt without losing the rocks down the drain? It's so simple! just put the rocks in a ziploc bag, "agitate" them, and then tilt the bag to pour out everything that goes into suspension. The dirt will go into suspension, the rocks won't. Easy as pie. I felt like John Travolta in Phenomenon when he realizes finally that he has accidentally enclosed the offending garden-eating rabbit inside his rabbit-proof fence. I wish there were as easy answers to all of life's questions.
Wow, thunder is loud.
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