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 ŕ 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
moooore internet quizzes thanks to Sarah Lynch
Tuesday. 7.26.05 8:43 am
Some poem from a while ago...
Monday. 7.25.05 5:51 pm
The deafening road around me was howling
Long, thin, in great mourning, majestic pain,
A woman passed, a luxurious hand
Raising up, balancing the embroidery and the hem;
Agile and noble, with her statue's leg
Me, I was drinking, tense like an eccentric,
In her eye, livid sky where lies the origin of the hurricane
The sweetness that fascinates and the pleasure that kills;
A flash of light... then the night!-- Fugitive beauty
The look of which made suddenly reborn
Will I never see you but in Eternity?
Away, quite far from here! Too late! Never maybe!
For I ignore to where you flee, you don't know where I am going,
O! You whom I could have loved, O! You who knows it.
ah, let's let the reader figure out what that one is about because I don't recall writing it nor do I have any idea what it is trying to say. Probably just me trying my hand at bullshitting! I like the way it sounds in places, though.
The wind is very strong, it is blowing my curtains and they are knocking all this stuff over.
Tristan et Yseult
Friday. 7.22.05 5:45 pm
hm, I was looking on the internet for the legend of Tristan et Yseult to link to my blog and all of the ones I found were certainly not the one that I had read. I think the ones on the internet are based off the book that this particular guy wrote, I read that after he wrote it again the original medieval version was almost lost. But in the version I read, there was no trysting and adultery and what-have-you, Tristan faithfully delivered Yseult to his uncle the king to whom she was betrothed and then moved to France because he knew he could not trust himself if she was always so close by. Now that sounds a little more Arthurian than that the lovers were discovered by King Marc trysting and so they fled into the forest and eventually King Marc forgave them for their indiscretions, etc etc.... sigh... the only reason I liked the story of Tristan et Yseult was because honor won out over passion. Doesn't honor ever win out over passion anymore? Aren't there things that are more important than love?
maybe this is what life is all about
Friday. 7.22.05 5:03 pm
The day I got home from Minnesota, my boss and I were driving along when we came upon some children pushing a car down the side of the road. Their mother was in the driver's seat and a smaller child was in the passenger seat. We asked if we could help and she explained that her car had given out on the highway and she just needed to get it to somewhere where they wouldn't tow it. We got out and helped the children push the car up the street and into a parking lot, up a little incline. The children were exhausted and they fell away from the car after a little bit. We managed to maneuver it into a parking spot and my boss told her that she should go in to the warehouse it belonged to and just notify them that her car would be there so they wouldn't be puzzled. It was kind of funny because without my boss in the car, as big and strong as he is, I probably wouldn't have stopped. I am just a medium-sized girl, as it were, and although I have strength she probably would have told me that she had it under control, doubting that I could be of much help. That happens to me a lot.
Then again, had my boss been the only one in the car, she might not have been as willing to receive help then, either, as she might find him big and she would not really know what his intentions were (although being dressed as nicely as he was would help). But with me sitting in the car next to him she would know that he was perfectly safe. And with him sitting next to me she knew we would be a great help. We were the perfect combination for doing good.
Today I was driving along and I saw a lemonade stand with three children, an older girl and two young brothers by the side of the road. Immediately I stopped and I got out of the car and I bought some Kool-Aid because they confided that it was the coldest of all the drinks they had to offer. I didn't have 50 cents so I gave them a dollar and the little boys were very happy. The dad came out with an empty cooler and waved to me and I got back in my car and off I went, drinking up the icy cold kool-aid on this 105 degree day even though the sugar hurts my teeth.
That's kind of what I think life is all about.
I may secretly be a seal, or maybe a mountain goat
Thursday. 7.21.05 8:54 pm
I wish I could yearn for you forever in a lost love kind of way, never knowing whether or not our love could have been perfect if only we could have been allowed to pursue it. Like Tristan et Yseult, only without the love potion. Just naturally. I would go off and marry the King of Ireland and you would move to France and weâ€™d always wonder what things could have been like if our honor didnâ€™t forbid us from following our love. Maybe that is the way it is. But I think we would find that you like to live near the sea and eat good food and I am tied to these mountains. You could take me to the sea. I love the sea. I could watch the sea for hours, I am fascinated by it. You might find me walking there if we ever became angry with one another and you couldnâ€™t find me anywhere in the house. You would not be able to find me in the mountains. I could live by the sea if you took me to live there, but I would feel like the Secret of Roan Inish. I would be the perfect model of wife and mother. I would raise our children next to the sea. I would love our life and I would never speak to you of the mountains. But one day, given the means, I might disappear. One day gone I would be and the minute you noticed you would know where I had gone but you would know equally well that there was no way you could ever find me. The mountains are in my blood. I cannot go to the mountains for a ski holiday and be satisfied. They must be there when I wake up and they must sing me to sleep in my bed at night. They must always be in the west so I know which way is which even though I can usually tell just by the stars or my very bones. The mountains sing to me, like the sea sings to some other people. Maybe the sea sings to you.
vignette from time spent outside the box
Wednesday. 7.20.05 3:15 pm
One time I was walking down the street in Ho Chi Minh City by myself, as I often did when I was there, on my way to here or there, stepping around the coconut vendors crouched on the sidewalk, avoiding the constant calls of the pedago-go drivers and the motortaximen, eyes always straight ahead, head up, briskly walking, clearly on my way to somewhere specific and possibly late for whatever was happening there. As I was passing the long cream wall of the Ben Thranh market someone suddenly emerged from one of the shallow alcoves in the wall. I think it was a woman, though I will never be sure. Her face was completely melted away. You could only see what remained of her hair and warped holes from which one eye like a infinite black void peered into the sunlight and the others from which she must breathe and eat. The other eye was gone, buried somewhere amid the scars, her nostrils were elongated like the skin had frozen in the middle of dripping over the contours of her skull. Her teeth hung as if they themselves had made the hole out of which they now showed.
Perhaps I should thank all of the Indiana Jones movies I had watched. Maybe the American "culture of violence" was good for something. Because I didn't start or jump or gasp or move away from her, I just took in in a moment all that she was: not begging or selling anything, not to be pitied, just living her life--- and then I kept walking.
I walked by there countless times after that and I was always looking for her, but I never saw her again.
The Lone Wolf of the North Woods
Wednesday. 7.20.05 11:04 am
When we were camping up on the south shore of Lake Superior in Wisconsin, we met this man who was camping next to us who decided he would be more than welcome to sit at our nice fire and tell us stories all night while drinking the groups' beer. He was 47 and he had been divorced for 9 years. His ex-wife was a native american who grew up on the nearby reservation. They're having a lot of trouble on the reservation these days and he likes to keep up with the news on it. He cares about the reservation very much.
He's a retired businessman, when he was 20 he started a limosine renting business and got to drive around lots of interesting people (especially interesting, he said, were the stewardesses that he got to drive back and forth to the airport). After a while he expanded into other businesses and made quite a fortune for himself. He worked all the time, and it was paying off (monetarily). About seven years ago, he had a massive heart attack that almost killed him. When he recovered, he retired and reevaluated his life. His wife was gone. He was forty and had just almost died from overwork. He started going camping and getting into kayaking and canoeing. Always by himself- hunting, exploring the North Woods, living life at a slower pace.
Somebody asked him what he hoped to do with the rest of his life. He answered very frankly that it was his life goal to remarry his ex-wife. He loved her more than anything and he was a fool to have let her go. She left him while he was working, and one can't help but wonder what might have happened had he suffered the heart attack and the awakening just two years earlier. I asked him how he was going to win her back and he answered that he couldn't really do anything at the moment, because she was married to some dumb jerk. His eyes lit up for a moment. "But just as soon as she realizes that and leaves him, I'll be there."
He seemed to be aware of how pathetic his life might seem, living alone, dedicated to getting back a woman who had clearly moved on without him, but he assured us that it wasn't so bad as all that. He camped all the time, he moved whenever he wanted to, he met all kinds of people- people like us. He said that day he had been kayaking on the lake and exploring the caves around the Apostle Islands. The cave rooves were low so only in the best of weather should you try and go into them. He said the things he saw on his trip were so beautiful... it made him very sad because for the first time all he really wanted was someone with whom he could share these beautiful memories. The solitude is amazing, yes, the sights are amazing, but having somebody to share all these things with, who will remember them with you years later, that's what life is really all about. He thought perhaps he would put out an ad for a kayaking partner, at least. We encouraged him on this point.
He said that he was taking a lot of medicine for his various ailments (he mentioned morphine, which I doubt they would give him) and he said he shouldn't drink in conjunction with his medication, so he gave us a 3/4 full bottle of vodka and a six-pack of beer. Why he had these things in the first place was a mystery to us, but he ended up finishing another quarter of the vodka while he was talking to us. He and Erin and I went off a little ways to a clearing where we could see the stars. I showed them the Little Dipper which neither had seen. He was especially impressed since he said he'd been looking for it for many years and always in the wrong place. I showed them how to find Draco the Dragon and Scorpio the Scorpion and Cygnus the Swan and even the Lyra, the Harp. I showed them constellations even I had never seen before. It was a lot of fun. He asked me if he could ask me a personal question and I said he could and he asked if I believed in God. I said I certainly did and he said he thought that was really cool. I told him that I thought it was amazing how many little mysteries God has put out there for us to figure out, so many mysteries that we'll always have something to do.
I liked him. Some of the others thought he was kind of a sad drunken man who told us a lot of lies. I guess maybe the story he told us about how he fought off a black bear with a machete and filmed it with his video camera that he held in his other hand seems a little far fetched looking back on it, and the fact that he owns a two-hundred pound timber wolf that he controls with a shock collar isn't something you hear about every day, but frankly who cares if his tales are true or not? What's going to happen to me, who is going to laugh at me if I believe him? Nothing and no one. Anyway, the quieter, sadder tales were what interested me, because nobody invents such steadfast devotion and such deep and mournful regret. I think his life could be a country song.
Monday. 6.27.05 8:20 am
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