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
The Great Dentist in the Sky
Thursday. 6.24.04 8:45 am
I always thought of Judgment Day as being kind of like a trial, and you'd stand up and the evidence for and against you would be read, and then you'd hear your eternal sentence. Yesterday I changed my mind. I was in the dentist's office, listening to "positive and encouraging k-lov" (the christian station) which they were playing on the office radio, and I realized that in my present position it was impossible for me to be positive or encouraged... but I was praying. I think Judgment Day would be like the Great Final Dental Cleaning, and Jesus would get in there first and ask you questions that you couldn't quite answer because your mouth would be full of Heavenly Dental Tools and smile and asked you if you flossed, and you'd remember that one time back in the day when you flossed or went to church or believed in God or thought about it for a minute and you answer would be, "sort of". Jesus would do you the favor of clearing up all the little stuff, that time you took the Lord's name in vain yesterday or when your mother-in-law was late and you hoped she had driven into a ditch. Jesus could make that look like it never happened with a flick of his cleaning instrument, especially if you used anti-cavity toothpaste or apologized for the fact that you came here straight from work and you hadn't had a chance to brush your teeth and looked like you were really sorry. He'd say each sin as he removed it and wipe it away on your paper bib for all the office to see. Then the real exam would begin, and God would come in tugging on His gloves, and you'd exchange pleasantries until God would say, "Let's see what We have here." and He'd lean you back even further in your chair and He'd pull down the Great White Light and you'd hear K-LOV in the background singing his praises in the modern Light Rock and he'd flick down his God Glasses which made Him look like a spider and allowed Him to See Everything. He'd comment on your past dental work- maybe early in your life you didn't brush so well and you had lots of cavities, but depending on how repentant you were and how could your last dentist was, most of those were all patched up and you were forgiven. He would poke your tender gums to see how easily they bleed, he would poke between your teeth to see how deep your pockets were, he would gently remind you that through a regular program of praying and going to church a lot of this damage could have been avoided. He'd drive his instrument into each of your teeth looking for cavities... and he'd probably find them. Your teeth had been hurting and you didn't want to go to the dentist before because you'd rather ignore the problem then go through the painful ordeal of finding out how extensive it was and fixing it. He'd analyze your deeper sins, the ones that couldn't be removed easily. He'd announce them in an analytical voice to all of Humankind and to Jesus, who had been willing to overlook or not trained enough to see them. He'd say, "There's a betrayal on number 9... and a lot of hypocrisy here in the back..." He'd dig His instrument into your sins and chuckle a little as he asked if it tickled, when in actuality it hurt more than anything you had ever felt. He'd blast you with water and air and you'd hold back tears and try to tell him that your teeth were sensitive. But He already knew that- He knows Everything- but sometimes the revealation of things you've so long ignored is painful. Jesus would spare you the pain. He needed to dig right to the root of the problem. He'd tell you that if your insurance had covered it (and it would if you were Catholic) your parents could have bought you a sealent or indulgence or told you to do good works and this could have been prevented. You wonder in the back of your mind if He's just saying you have a cavity so that He would have been right about wanting you to buy the sealent. Finally, he'd sum up your dental exam and leave you to Jesus to wash the blood from your gums and wipe it all over the bib that you thought they put there to protect you. He'd leave you with a comment like, "My, you have an unusual amount of saliva" which you wouldn't know if it was a compliment or an insult, so you'd say nothing. Then God would turn you to the Right side or the Left, and the Left would mean Heaven because God is most certainly Left-handed, despite what they say. The Left would be the equivalent of "We'll see you again in six months" and the Right would be the equivalent of "We'll have to get you in next week for a root canal/drilling/tooth extraction/crown fitting" And that, my friends, would be Hell.
Music and Potatoes
Sunday. 6.20.04 11:17 pm
Someday I shall play the flamenco guitar. And I shall strap the guitar I made for myself (or the guitar makers of my village made it, perhaps, as a gift) to my back and I shall climb to the top of a building and pick out the sad and haunting notes that will ring through the square and remind all that hear them of my loss and tortured past.
Well, maybe I can do without the loss and tortured past part, but the notes will sound like that anyway.
That will be when I am still young and filled with the pain of youthful passion.
When I get older, I'll pick up the harmonica and I'll sit out on the porch while my grandchildren are catching fireflies and I'll play the Blues. I'll have such rhythm and soul that the night will absorb my echos and weep in great blue-gray curtains upon the distant plain.
Hmm. I know the bagpipe figures into this somehow too, but I can't decide where. Maybe they'll play it at my funeral, and the sound will find and fill every corner of the land, and buoy my spirit as it radiates outward. It will be a long time before the memory of it dies.
In other news:
Today I was looking for gravy and I picked up butterscotch sauce. Kind of made me wonder what mashed potatoes and butterscotch sauce would taste like. Sounds gross at first... but would it be?
think about it.
watching: Dragonheart, Streetfighter
listening to: the tango from True Lies, Por Una Cabeza
Sunday. 6.20.04 1:59 am
Yey for today. Seeing Carol, going to the mall with Katherine, running in the mist, though not in that order. :)
Thursday. 6.17.04 11:09 pm
::listening to the description of the Native Son sex scene on a book-on-tape::
Me: Wow, that's a hell of a lay
My little sister: I've heard better
Marka Stewart: You're like the son your dad never had- only prettier and with less facial hair.
Smitty : That's the thing about lying... when you're an old man everyone knows you lying so you can lie all you want.
Me: I'll remember that for when I am an old man.
Warning label: Never mount a 16" diameter on a 16.5" rim.
Me: Look! It's a coyote!
Katherine: That coyote seriously needs to be brushed.
Katherine: Well, you know her parents- they smoke like haystacks.
Things I recently discovered that I like: the phrase "Rountine bin maintenance", people whose middle initial is H (George H. Bush, William H. Macy, Jesus H. Tap-dancing Christ), and sleeping with the window open. Cool thing in the last little while: Got to see my buddy Laur Jones, with whom I went out to breakfast where we ordered the same thing and were generally pals. She's lookin' good and sexy and it seems like she's having fun. YEy for Laur!
watching: The Chronicles of Riddick
listening to: The Beach Boys
mood: generally placated
Sunday. 6.13.04 1:01 am
Saturday. 6.12.04 11:50 am
Isn't a funeral a strange thing? What if you were dead, and you were watching your funeral from a wisp of cloud in the sky, and you'd hear all the nice things that people had to say about you, you'd wonder why so-and-so wasn't there, why this person or that person was invited. Then they'd file by your coffin, talking to the wood, patting it as if they were saying, "poor poor thing, it's going to be ok" and you wouldn't know if they were talking to you or themselves. I think it's always sad to see the wife of a military man receive his folded flag, and she clutches it like it is all that is left of a man she loved, a small triangle of folded fabric that embodied an entire lifetime of service. My grandfather's is sitting on my dad's shelf. I wonder if he can look at me through it and tell me not to play the piano while he's sleeping, just like in real life.
But when the funeral was over- and no matter how many people loved you, it would eventually be over... they'd leave you there and go home and you'd sit there amid the grass for a little while, mulling over what you'd heard that day. Maybe you'd get a little lonely, and someone would come and cover you with dirt. But no matter what, you'd end the night alone. People would wonder how long was "proper" or "respectful" to stay, and then their dues would be paid and they'd get to run home to their warm houses and talk in subdued voices and thank God it wasn't them.
Maybe that's why I want to be cremated. So at the end of the day the wind will come and I'll be the one leaving, in body and in spirit. I'll slip the surly bonds of Earth and touch the face of God.
Relax, it's doughnuts and FedEx
Wednesday. 6.9.04 10:48 pm
I'd like to take this moment to thank Krispy Kreme and the good people at FedEx for making this splendid day possible.
"I'd never buy a Ford. I'd smoke crack before I bought a Ford."
"You youngins are pretty good. Well... some of you you'd put two together and get 25 cents."
"She had a great big Cadillac, the kind you have to throw an anchor out of it when you park."
Driver : "You know smoking will kill you."
She-who-must-not-be-named: "I'm going to live forever. I'm too ornery to die."
We have a new forklift. Its name is Tweety, christened by my sister. It's yellow, annoying, and noisy as hell. Its secret name is
That's because it's evil. Very evil. At first it wasn't working at all,
"Obviously it's a lemon, that's why it's yellow!"
But now it works well enough. It used to stall all the time, but we fixed the fuel injector, and now all it does is stall at strange times and rattle. RATTLE RATTLE RATTLE with no end, no pattern, just sporadic RATTLE.
Ok, ok. I shouldn't get down on Tweety. I just miss Forky. They took Forky away on Monday. My sister washed him and made him look beautiful before they took him away- I wanted to wash him but I couldn't, I just quickly kissed him goodbye and didn't watch the man tie him to the truck and drive away.
And one cannot really judge Tweety... there was The Accident, after all. Tweety was a forklift for a long time in another state, many hours, which is how forklift life is measured (coffee spoons?). I suppose he was then. Before.
When he was very old he was purchased by MSL. He was loaded onto a truck and he began the long trip to Colorado. Suddenly the semi-truck got into a terrible accident on the highway and went flying forward. He had been loaded on the truck backwards, so he went through the front of the truck forks first and right into the cab, narrowly missing the driver, who walked away unscathed. (Next horror movie: Forklift Frenzy of FEAR!) , on the other hand, was not ok, and they took him to Kansas City for some rest and rehabilitation. They repainted him, they gave him new forks, a new cage, and snazzy new stickers. When he arrived, he was given his new name. But deep inside his newly painted exterior still lies the old, broken soul of .
Maybe if we knew everyone's life story, we would give everyone a break and love them despite their faults. Speaking of brakes, Tweety's are quite sensitive.
Oh, how I miss thee, Forky.
Oh, I shall yet give thee a chance, Tweety.
Oh, and besides FedEx bringing us Krispie Kremes and this day being awesome and having a good conversation about the guy who flattened Gramby with a tank (the second time someone flattened a Colorado town with a tank!), this conversation also made me happy all day:
Gary: "Oh, nothing, I was just singing your name."
watching: 5ive Days Til Midnight
listening to: It might be a little bit loco baby, but it keeps me from losing my mind
Where God Really Lives
Sunday. 6.6.04 9:45 pm
When I was young, I always thought that God lived in the space behind the organ pipes at the back of the sanctuary. It has little wooden bars on either side of the pipes and the pastor would spread his hands and evoke him from his little loft from whence he would watch our ceremonies. I always wondered whether or not I would like living there. It wasn't a very large place to live, of course, but it was high up and anything that required climbing to get to was exciting. I thought of how the sun would slant through the bars in the late afternoon and God would lie on His back with His head on a pillow and read books. It would really be the perfect place to read books. I suppose He'd read adventure stories and mysteries, and He'd never have to read the Bible because He wrote it and He already knows what it says. The service would be the most exciting time of His week, and He would lay down His book and lie on His stomach and prop up His chin under His elbows and see who was doodling and who was chit-chatting and who was listening to the sermon. I was usually doodling, but I didn't think He'd be angry with me. If anyone could understand what a kid has to do to make it through a Lutheran sermon, it would be Him. I always imagined Him watching from his black darkness behind those bars, smiling. His love would emanate from there just like the organ music, which He liked to listen to all the time, which is why He lived so close to the pipes.
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