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 ï¿½ 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
A Gentleman in Russia
The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism
Seneca: Letters from a Stoic
The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows
Friday. 6.14.13 5:00 pm
The Ever Widening Gyre
Tuesday. 6.11.13 5:11 pm
I've kicked into full job-getting gear. I literally just wrote an email to the head of communications and public outreach at ESA asking him for a job. Hey, might as well start at the VERY TOP, right????
Actually I gave a talk at a citizen space conference hosted by ESA a few weeks back and the head of communications for ESA was at the conference. He tracked down M, asked if we were colleagues (why yes, that is what we are), and gave him his card to give to me. He said he liked my talk and that my English was excellent and he wanted to know if I'd be interested in doing some communications outreach for ESA. I said yes, and he said he'd be in touch. So I thought about it for a few days, and then wrote him back and added that if he knew of any opportunities at ESA in communications, my current contract was ending in November. BAM. We'll see what happens. My English is excellent--- I've been practicing it for a long time.
I'm also writing a bunch of grants, as I said before, but I'm rolling closer and closer to actually submitting one. Terror.
I applied for a faculty position at MIT. Because... why not?
I'm going to ask some people in Berlin for a job too. Because BERLIN.
But there's still a high probability that I'll move to Italy.
I sent emails to all my friends asking them for examples of various successful proposals and budgets they've submitted. Right now I'm getting by with a little help from my friends, this is true.
Last Thursday I had a wicked pinched nerve of some kind. The pain was so terrible that I couldn't bend over or pick anything up with my left hand. There wasn't a single position in which I was comfortable. I had to wake up early that day to go to a middle school to teach little bilingual middle schoolers about what it was like to be a space scientist. The middle schoolers were awesome. They all sat in rapt attention and then at the end they all had a million questions. Standing in front of them was like being in my qualifying exams all over again--- they asked questions on every subject from conspiracy theories to philosophical questions to Kepler's laws and the Deccan basalt traps. I gave one talk about how scientists work in Antarctica (to the 8th graders), then I gave a talk about the planets and how scientists study them using light (to the 7th and 6th graders). It was a very full day, but very rewarding. The 8th graders were learning about stomata in leaves, which was a huge blast from the past. As I walked around the school I was like a minor celebrity and I had kids coming up all day with more questions. My pinched nerve still hurt like a bitch, but while I was presenting at least I could forget about it.
I basically learned that if you are feeling right awful and you have a pinched nerve, you should just forget about it and wear heels and give presentations all day, and then follow that up by going hiking and camping in the wilderness all weekend, because PAIN IS IN YOUR MIND.
Him: I'm pretty much done with my work today, I think I'm going to leave.
Him: Unless you're going to leave soon.
Me: I was thinking I'd leave in like 20 minutes.
Twenty minutes later we leave. I kind of assumed that he meant that he wanted to hang out or something, but as it turns out he just waited 20 minutes so that we could walk together during the 3 minutes it takes to get to the metro.
Do I really have to leave France?
The Origins of The Mime
Monday. 6.10.13 4:04 pm
Monday. 6.3.13 1:02 pm
Another point of view
Friday. 5.31.13 7:14 pm
Monday. 5.27.13 7:54 am
Friday. 5.24.13 6:54 pm
I'm shivering. There is only one thought in my head, repeating itself over and over again: I'm going to fall in the Seine. I'm going to fall, crack my head open on the side of this bridge, and then drown in the Seine. The river is at flood stage again, as if it were winter. If you felt how cold it was on this bridge, you would think it was winter.
Then he comes, the model, with his broad shoulders and his even features and his bow tie and his neatly combed hair and his tuxedo. He puts his strong arm around me to keep me from falling in the Seine and he puts his other hand on my knee.
"I think you're supposed to put your hand..."
"Tell me," he says, leaning in towards my neck, "where would you like me to put my hand?"
"I mean... in the photo..." I try to specify, clearing my throat. We're trying to remake a famous photo from 1957.
"Ah yes, in the photo the man's hand is hidden somewhere," he says, laughing. I would think he was up to no good except for the fact that it is so clear that he doesn't care at all, not even a tiny bit.
He is talking to me about something else now, but his hand is casually caressing my knee. "Are you used to having your picture taken?" he asks. I nod. I'm trying to concentrate. "So am I," he says.
The photographers ask him to go back to hiding his face in my neck. "I don't like to be hidden," he says. He kisses my neck suddenly, completely dispassionately, as if he were resting his lips on an ice cube. The photographers hiss for him to stop. "No kissing!"
Thank you, photographers.
Maybe I'll fall in the Seine.
Une Journée en Bretagne
Sunday. 5.19.13 7:10 pm
Yesterday we started off the day well by taking the métro in the wrong direction. We traveled for five stations before we realized that something was amiss. We were going to a fair celebrating the French province of Brittany. Or, in French, la Bretagne. Or, in Breton, Breizh. Breizh is a province of France that is known for its Celtic roots.
The people there have their own language and their culture is closely tied to that of other Celtic peoples like the Irish and Scottish. They even have their own version of Stone Henge, called Carnac.
Instead of arches, the ancient Celtic Bretons built alignments of some 3000 standing stones (menhirs) all over the region.
The other thing that la Bretagne is famous for is its terrible weather. It rains there all the time. They have some sayings about the weather in Brittany:
"In Bretagne you can tell the weather by looking at the sea. If you can see the sea, it means that it is going to rain soon. If you can't see the sea, it means that it is already raining."
"In Bretagne it only rains twice a year- from August to February, and from the end of February until August."
So it was appropriate, perhaps, when the skies of Paris opened up and a great deluge inundated the Breton Fair. The hardy Bretons were not to be discouraged, however... the Celtic band played on under their shelter, and the Bretons young and old continued dancing. In Breizh they dance circle dances, similar to those danced by the Greeks. Often times you link pinkie fingers with your neighbor and form a long chain that snakes its way around the party. So we finally abandoned our umbrella, and our efforts to stay dry, and we joined the Bretons in their dance. Mr. M and his geologist friend, who was playing with one of the bands, are both from Brittany or thereabouts, but Maude and I were débutantes.
Round and round we danced, first the circle dances, then the polka, then the waltz, and finally an amazing square dance where we constantly switched partners. The rain came in buckets, in sheets, in waves. "Aren't we dancing this dance a bit fast?" asked Mr. M at some point. I shook my head. "People have been known to break bones dancing the polka," I explained. "Yes," confirmed his friend, whirling by with Maude, "the polka is a crazy dance."
Finally we were all exhausted and soaked through. My nice leather jacket (oops) had stained my arms black. We went home and changed our clothes and ate dinner at a crêperie. Crêpes are a traditional food of la Bretagne. I had a galette (savory crêpe) with huge slices of cheese and potatoes and bacon and onions.
For dessert I had a crêpe with Nutella. We continued our Breizh theme by drinking pitchers of Breton cider. Finally we came back to my apartment and Mr. M, his friend, and Maude, who all used to play in an Irish music band together, brought out their flutes and tin whistles and began to play. Two other friends, who had joined us for dinner, added to the affair by singing and playing the spoons. I made a fine drum out of a trashcan.
"It was delightful to have you at our house," said Mr. M to everyone as they left my apartment, until finally he himself left.
She is handsome, she is pretty,
She is the Belle of Belfast city
She is a-courtin' one, two, three,
Please won't you tell me who is she.
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