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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.

The Profile

Age. 34
Gender. Female
Ethnicity. that of my father and his father before him
Location Altadena, CA
School. Other
» More info.
The World

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
Croc Hunter/Combat Wombat
My hero(s)
Only My Favorite Baseball Player EVER

Aw, Larry Walker, how I loved thee.
The Schedule
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
Looking Backwards
Wild Swans
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 Geomorphology
Aeolian Dust and Dust Deposits
The City of Ember
The People of Sparks
Cube Route
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
New Moon
Breaking Dawn
Armageddon's Children
The Elves of Cintra
The Gypsy Morph
Animorphs #23: The Pretender
Animorphs #25: The Extreme
Animorphs #26: The Attack
Crucial Conversations
A Journey to the Center of the Earth
A Great and Terrible Beauty
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Dandelion Wine
To Sir, With Love
London Calling
Watership Down
The Invisible
Alice in Wonderland
Through the Looking Glass
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
The Host
The Hunger Games
Catching Fire
Shadows and Strongholds
The Jungle Book
Beatrice and Virgil
The Help
Zion Andrews
The Unit
Quantum Brain
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
No One Ever Told Us We Were Defeated
Memento Nora
The Name of the Wind
The Terror
Tao Te Ching
What Paul Meant
Lao Tzu and Taoism
Libyan Sands
Sand and Sandstones
Lost Christianites: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew
The Science of God
Calculating 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 Martian
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
Red Mars
How to Be a Good Wife
A Mote in God's Eye

want to read: Last Hunger Games Book, Honeybee Democracy, The Bell Jar
The Juanes Module

Juanes just needed his own mod. Who can disagree.
life would be better if it were a movie
Saturday. 6.25.05 8:47 pm
Yeah, life would be better if it were a movie. Especially when it comes to doing things that are hard. Think about getting in shape for example. When you think, "I'll get in shape this summer" you may be like me, and imagine getting in shape as some kind of 1.5-3 minute collage of footage of you sweating, doing push-ups, hitting the road, failing, improving, succeeding, all with an incredibly catchy and inspirational tune in the background. By the time the song is winding down, you are fit! Or when I decide that I'm going to learn everything about petrology secretly. There is some music, a shot of me staying up really late in the library, me suddenly wearing glasses- I'm always turning a page, not actually reading, just turning pages because I'm learning stuff that fast. At the end, the music cuts out and I'm the only one in the library and I fall asleep on my book. But it's ok, because I know EVERYTHING.

In reality, life is hard. You have to get up and spend hours every day doing that kind of stuff. Often, there is no music but your own heart beating in your ears and your own breath being sucked out of your lungs. And let me tell you, if you want to study really hard and become an expert on the Rove Formation, you will not only challenge yourself, you will be BORED OUT OF YOUR MIND. Sure, they talk about how it is hard on your muscles and your will and all that, but did they ever tell you that it would BORE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND? You need all the will power you have to not just crawl into your welcoming bed and listening to an inspiring song on your windows media player "workout" playlist and imagining how fit you could be.

Just another reason why life needs a soundtrack.

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Saturday. 6.25.05 8:45 pm
It was time for the race. Dakar’s nostrils were filled with the smell of the other dragons, twitching with energy. Just seeing the starting line made Dakar’s breathing shorten, his muscles go tense with anticipation. He could see his brother, his brilliant scales reflecting shards of light across the slanted shadows of the other racers. He was in the centre of the starting line, whereas Dakar, as usual, was relegated to the twelfth position against the canyon’s wall. The route was simple: it ran along the sandy bottom where the river used to run, limiting the dragons to largely one dimensional movement just above the canyon floor. There were several close turns and they would slow Dakar considerably since he was in the extreme outside lane. Spectators were present; they were carrying flags of their various lineages and some of the DROM, though patriotism in the new government was pale and somewhat forced. Dakar could remember when the sky above the canyon rim was filled with whirling banners of Celestite. Back when the world was new.
He took his place in the twelfth lane. In position for the start, he could not see the other dragons behind him on the curve, he could only hear them. He could hear the strained, explosively tense sound of their breathless, waiting silence.
The horn sounded. Dakar lurched forward, taking to air. His mind was blank; the pounding of his wings against the air filled his folded ears. Any loose mass that lay on his muscles itched and burned as he surged over the sand and rocks. He wasn’t breathing. He sucked life-giving air into his lungs. He relaxed his straining neck and leaned forward. He could not tell how close the next dragon was. He needed to keep his head start to make up for the curve. He leaned hard into the first curve, barely staying in his lane. The cool air of the canyon burned in his lungs. He swept over the short rise that marked the halfway point. The spectators came into view, waving their banners furiously. He did not see them. They were cheering, screaming countless names and bits of advice and encouragement to the racers. He could not hear them. He was through the second turn. The others were closing in. Not close enough. The last stretch. His vision was black at the edges. He could not go any faster. He went faster. He heard one shout out of the hundreds of spectators. It was his father’s voice. Cheering for Chalco. He could see his brother out of the corner of his eye. He fell across the finishing line. He raked the sand almost immediately, coming to a crushing halt before his lane disappeared to a blank slate wall. With rasping voracity, he sucked at the cool air. His whole body felt light. With each breath his chest released a measure of its contraction and the black faded from the edge of his vision. His wings felt like rubber.
He turned and looked back at the finish line. Everyone had come across. They stood, staggered after the finish line, chests heaving. His father flew down from the cliff’s edge into the shadow, landing softly behind Chalco and putting his hand on his shoulder.

It was like Dakar was in a dream without sound. He could see his father’s mouth moving, smiling. Chalco’s lip curled up as he nodded, flushed and gleaming. Other dragons filled the space between him and his family. Second place. Second place, again. He could imagine if his father were like other fathers, how he would take a son under each wing. How he would boast that his sons were the two fastest dragons in Celestite. How proud he would be that his sons took the highest prizes again. He shook his head as if to shake the idea from his mind.

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I get bored in Literature of the Romantic Period!
Thursday. 6.23.05 8:47 pm
Zanzibar's Random Poetry Corner:
(a note: Zanzibar is not necessarily the speaker in any of Zanzibar's poetry)

An attempt at iambic pentameter:
(This comes from a conversation we had in English once about the naming of houses among English nobles. There was a hierarchy among all living things, with God at the top, angels, humans, animals, and finally plants. The lion was the highest animal and the rose was the highest plant, but all animals were above plants. When we got to the War of the Roses, we wondered why the houses would choose a high plant as opposed to a low animal. We asked our teacher what the lowest animal was and she told us it was the oyster. Thus was born Sonnet to the Oyster.)

Nigh was the onset of the night
The air was full of moisture
Not for any cause of right
But for the honor of the oyster

I came from deep in blackn'd wood
To watch the flags unfurl
As if might determines o'er all who should
And in whose power belongs the Pearl.

(death of poetic structure...)

At last the will of those who win are pressed upon those who lose
Day breaks, it tears
The day is theirs
They have crushed the enemies' souls on the soles of shoes.

And all throu' the misty hills passed we
Not quick'nd to flee, or fancy free
But steadily, like the eroding fingertips of ocean foam
Weary but glad; we were on our way home.

It was Hell; I know for I was there
I smelled the rotting bodies; and chose my path with care.
You were not there, yet you question what I’ve said
You were not there, to look into the glassy eyes of the newly dead.

It killed my Soul; I know for I could feel it.
I heard its final anguished death as the Devil failed to steal it.
You were not there, yet you question what I’ve said
You were not there, to hear the screaming in my head.

It was Necessary; I know for I gave all
I tasted the bitter hopelessness of the pow’rless and the small
You were not there, but you dare to question me
You were not there to die to set those people free.

The Giants pass by and summon with a great magnetic force
And like a bit of iron I flinch and jerk at their proximity.

In my warm study there is a busy ticking
With earnest focused industry my pen is stead’ly flicking

At once outside a spirit’s fury rises; and blowing branches bare
It pulls with trembling wrath its fingers through the willow’s tumbling hair.
It is not ceasing! Violence, there still it blows!
A blackbird strains with northward purpose, but southward still it goes.
Like a gaggle of frenzied coyote pups it begins to yip and howls...
I look to the wall for friendly clock but back at me it scowls.

And then the storm is gone again, the wheezing willow falls flat
The returning sun slinks through my window like a lazy summer cat.
Before me lies my lifeless sheaths so long on which I’ve toiled
Still in my forgotten hand my heavy pen is coiled
Is freedom here inside my books? and in notes with care and gravity lettered?
No! I wish to escape by yonder window there and run through life unfettered.

and some awesome words from the professionals:

"I feel assured I should write from the mere yearning and fondness I have for the Beautiful even if my night's labours should be burnt every morning and no eye ever shine upon them."
and of course Blake:

"The tree which moves some to tears is in the Eyes of others only a Green thing that stands in the way"

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Sunday. 5.29.05 6:21 pm
Your dating personality profile:

Athletic - Physical fitness is one of your priorities. You find the time to work athletic pursuits into your schedule. You enjoy being active.
Intellectual - You consider your mind amongst your assets. Learning is not a chore but a constant search after wisdom and knowledge. You value education and rationality.
Adventurous - Just sitting around the house is not something that appeals to you. You love to be out trying new things and really experiencing life.
Your date match profile:

Big-Hearted - You want someone compassionate, someone gentle and kind. A loving, nurturing person will fill that hole in your life.
Practical - You are drawn to people who are sensible and smart. Flashy, materialistic people turn you off. You appreciate the simpler side of living.
Athletic - You aren't looking for a couch potato. You seek someone who is active and who keeps his body in top shape.
Your Top Ten Traits

1. Athletic
2. Intellectual
3. Adventurous
4. Practical
5. Religious
6. Big-Hearted
7. Conservative
8. Wealthy/Ambitious
9. Romantic
10. Traditional
Your Top Ten Match Traits

1. Big-Hearted
2. Practical
3. Athletic
4. Conservative
5. Religious
6. Intellectual
7. Adventurous
8. Sensual
9. Funny
10. Traditional

Take the Online Dating Profile Quiz at Dating Diversions

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on the blogs of others
Friday. 5.27.05 5:46 pm
the hard thing about coming home is dealing with all the problems you made and then ran away from the last time you came home.

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Some girls don't like boys like me, oh, but some
Friday. 5.27.05 3:29 pm
Today I am learning Spanish from a series of tapes. Hopefully by the end of the day I will know Spanish.

The other day I went to Caroline's house and on the way there I met this homeless guy on the side of the road. I was cruising along listening to 95.7 Latino and Proud really loud with the window rolled down and I had to stop at the light. It was ridiculous to pretend I didn't see him, so I rooted around in my car to see if I had anything I could give him. I didn't really, I only had big bills, so I told him I was sorry, I didn't have anything for him. He said that me smiling at him was worth a million dollars. We chatted for a little while. He was 67 years old. He turned out to be really nice. I wondered what he was doing here on the side of the road since he was obviously rather nice and intelligent. The light turned green and I never saw him again.

I've been learning a lot about Che Guevara lately, I saw The Motorcycle Diaries and decided that I really didn't know a lot about this controversial figure and I ought to look into it deeper. Especially when some of the lines about how traveling changes you seemed to resonate so forcefully in light of my own recent travels. My mother brought home "El Che" which is an amazing documentary about Che's life told through video and pictures and the words of those who knew him. He is intriguing partly because he is so damn good looking and at the same time so amazingly committed to his ideals. Totalitarian, socialist, violent, brutal, I admire him because he held himself to all the same standards as he held others. There was no hypocrisy there. I don't agree with him, I would never join his rebellion, but I think if anyone could convince me to join it, it would be him.

It's the indescribable allure of somebody who has principles and follows them no matter what, usually getting absolutely nothing done for their cause because they are so unwilling to compromise and eventually dying a "martyr's death".

Then again there is somebody like Gandhi. Now there's a man whose principles were based on compromise. He was so unwilling to compromise on his wish to compromise that he ended up being killed for it, too. And he was able to accomplish a lot. Che was able to accomplish a lot, too... but he had to kill a hell of a lot more people and the result has since proved to be bittersweet if not completely sour .

Anyway, Latin America is really interesting. This entry isn't really well phrased, I realize, but that's because my mind is still processing and I haven't gone through the phrasing phase. Phrasing phase. Phrase phase heap ape pa a. I've become a lot more random lately. I attribute it to the fact that I can type faster.

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Sunday. 5.22.05 9:43 pm
Dakar looked around a little cautiously. He was still hiding out in the middle of the forest, waiting for Jasper to return. He coiled up at the edge of the pond and slithered his long forked tongue into the water. He wanted to see if he could just keep it there and not let it dart in and out like a lizard. It was an old exercise from his days in training, meant to widen the gap that made lizards lizards and dragons their lords. He brought whatever small amount of water his tongue had collected slowly and measuredly back into his mouth. Dragons seldom drank water. Everyone always said that it surpressed the Fire. Dakar didn't have the fire. Neither did they. What were they so worried about? The water was delicious and cold. He let some of it seep between his teeth and down his throat. He didn't think of anything, his mind was preoccupied with the smell of the forest and the delicious dribble of the water down his chin. He wondered what it would be like to go for a swim. Jasper loved swimming. He always giggled and splashed and acted like a complete fool whenever he was covered in water. The water loved Jasper. It invigorated him. Dakar wondered if it could do the same for him. The pond wasn't very deep. So what if dragons couldn't swim, he could simply wade in the bright clear water and watch the colorful fish dart about his body. He gazed longingly into the pond.

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Sunday. 5.22.05 9:31 pm
He had been lying in the shadow of the cavern all day, watching Chalco and his friends as they flew in and out over the water. They were playing a game centered around an old cormorant, but the bird was sluggish and their repeated passes had made it frightened and confused- it flew in erratic circles and its feathers were coming out in crazy bursts. Dakar's large eyes, like deep black mirrors, followed the unfortunate bird. His head lay cradled between his forearms and his ears were fanned just enough to catch hints of the brilliant blue sea crashing on the cliff-side so many hundreds of feet below. His stomach was sick with pity. Chalco had been sitting on a precipice at the edge of the cavern for some time, his forearms crossed in contemplation, the sunlight glittering off of his brilliant purple-gold scales, casting a thousand dancing lights backwards into the cave. The sunlight suited Chalco perfectly. He looked like the sparkling idols of old that decorated the ancient temples in the city-center. Dakar preferred the darkness. It protected him, it wrapped its cool, stretchy arms around him and made everyone else let him alone.
"Oh, leave that tired old bird already" called Chalco lazily from his perch. His eyes sparkled. "It's time for Dakar's training."
Dakar's head snapped up and a cold chill ran through his body. The circling dragons murmured with excitement and came to roost on the cave's edge. The lone cormorant fluttered vainly towards the cliff's summit, dropped ten feet, paused, and then plummeted haphazardly the thousand feet into the sea. Chalco easily leaped the twenty feet from the precipice to the cavern. He surveyed his friends' faces.
"So far we have been testing Dakar's courage and fortitude, trying to turn him from a weak little iguana into one of us. We have trained him to endure great pain without so much as a grimace. Now is the time for his final test.”
The final test. Its formal name was the Snake’s Terror, but Chalco probably invented the name that very day, standing there in the bright sunlight, the sweet-smelling sea breeze buffeting his smiling whiskers, commanding the rapt attention of his friends with a slow soft stream of suggestions.
Within a few minutes Dakar had been prepared. His wings were lashed to his body with a series of carefully tied knots. His arms and legs were tied to each other. Without his limbs, he had the same abilities of a snake, the others agreed. He had use of neck and tail, but they muzzled his snout so he could not speak or cry out for help. They meant to push him off the Cormorant’s Wharf, whose tiered peak was just high enough to break his legs if he tried to land on them while they were tied. If he panicked, they would let him fall. If he showed good resolve, they would save him. Things did not go as planned. Before they started down, there was an argument; Dakar could never remember how it started. Arseno, a pugnacious black angular dragon wanted to cast the little green dragon from the mouth of the cavern. The Cormorant’s Wharf was hardly sufficient for a final test, some of the others agreed. Chalco became very angry. Dakar could not speak. One eye was pressed into the sandy rock and the other saw only shadows and sky. The cliff edge came closer. There was a scuffle. He felt a hard shove and then there was only empty space. The air rushed past him. He was falling, still falling. His wings tried to open on instinct but their bonds held fast. Panic seized his stomach. Around him there was still only empty space.
The fall to the water should have killed him. Instead he crashed into the top of the Cormorant’s Wharf, the top of his intended platform dive. The wood splintered. The highest platform gave way. He struck the next, and the next, and the rotting wood came with him with deafening crunches. At last he bounced free of the scaffolding, free-falling the remaining distance straight into the sea. It hit him like a rock wall, knocking the breath from his lungs. As soon as the water managed to get out of the way, it came coursing back. He could not move his arms. The ropes cut into his wings. His breathing was quick and short. He could not breathe. The water was rising. The salt burned his eyes and nostrils. There was broken wood everywhere.
Suddenly there were claws on his skin. They pulled, lifted him out of the burning, sucking water and onto dry land.
Dakar could not fly again for more than six months. His father never asked what happened. He did not want to know. He never visited Dakar in the infirmary, and when Dakar was finally back on his feet, his look of utter shame at the sight of his son’s limping figure was enough to discourage the young dragon from ever approaching his father again. He never told him that it was Chalco, his most beloved son, who had orchestrated the entire fiasco. He never told him that it was Chalco who caused the bruising and the swelling that often ruined his chances on Race Day. And Dakar never knew that it was Chalco whose shove had finally pushed him over the edge that day.

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