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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.
Saturday. 12.3.11 6:32 pm
"I think I get it now: Americans speak English when they're being serious, and Spanish when they're joking!"

--Srog the Dane

French: What are other things that people say are 'so french', besides complaining all the time?
Me: Um... wearing scarves!
German: Yes, whenever we see a lady all dressed up with a scarf, we say, 'oh, she looks so French'
French, very confused: Well then what do the Americans wear, only turtlenecks?

[in french]
Me: The cowboys were good, and the indians were clever.
French2: Do you mean to say that the indians were 'evil'?
Me: Isn't that what 'clever' means?
French2: No, it means that they are very smart, like geniuses.
Me: Aha! The cowboys were good, and the indians were diabolical!
French2: Very good!

[in french]
Me: What do you have to do to get buried in the Pantheon?
French3: You have to do an incredible service to the nation of France.
Me: What if I just cremated myself and then brought my urn into the Pantheon and hid it somewhere inside?
French4: That would be an easier way of being buried in the Pantheon.
Me: Of course I would have to get someone else to do it, because I would necessarily be dead.
French3: :::::shocked:::::

[in french]
Prof: The word "épilation" means "waxing". ::she mimes waxing from various body parts:: Do you know where the word "épilation" comes from?
Student: mowing "the lawn" [la pelouse]?
Prof: Uh... ::turns red:: no.

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Riding the Wave of Life
Tuesday. 11.29.11 9:14 am
I'm reading a fascinating book called "The Quantum Brain". It talks about everything we know about the function of the human brain, plus all of the ways in which man has tried to emulate it through the construction of artificial intelligence. The book is full of amazing things, and I think middaymoon would be totally into it. In fact, it is probably grâce à middaymoon that the title jumped out at me in the first place. I will write more about this book, but for now I wanted to share this totally creepy quote from it:

Bohr, for instance, remarked on how the ever-changing medium in which a wave is but a pattern is like the ever-changing matter in which life is a pattern too.

This is of course the Bohr, Niels Bohr, and he was talking about how when a wave passes through a medium (say-- water) it is actually the energy which is traveling forward while the water stays in the same place. If you could tag a molecule of water in the ocean, it would just go up and down as the wave passed, not forward. Sound waves cause the molecules of air to compress temporarily, and then when the energy has passed they go back to their regular density. The energy wave makes use of the miniscule local forces that the atoms of the material exert on each other in order to propagate.

It is super creepy therefore to think of Life as an energy which passes through us, animates us for a brief moment, and uses the local interactions between us as a means to propagate itself through time. No wonder self-propagation is such a strong instinct in living things....

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The Curse of the Internet
Saturday. 11.12.11 8:00 am
Well now I have internet in my apartment. It still isn't the internet I paid for, but the company gave me a username and password to connect to their city-wide wifi. This means that instead of writing my novel, walking around Paris, or discovering the giant park on the edge of town that I've been meaning to visit....

I just hung out in my apartment watching Taylor Swift videos on YouTube!

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Spider Poem
Wednesday. 11.9.11 12:39 pm
Every young spider must choose a corner
Choose a corner in which to build her life
In which to build her life, her web, to take her chances
To take her chances that insects will come.

Maud was no different, she chose a corner
A dark corner, filled with debris
A debris-filled bathroom corner, behind a pipe
Taking her chances that insects would come.

But the web of Maud stayed empty
The carefully woven web of Maud that would catch anything
The web of Maud stayed empty
And the insects did not come.

The multi-eyed spider mind of Maud filled with doubt
About the corner, about the instincts
Which made her gamble on this corner
Despite the insects that did not come.

Yet Maud tended her web
Her perfect web that would catch anything
And Maud grew hungry
For insects that did not come.

A spider's web will do its hunting
Unless the bathroom walls are well-sealed
And the window is closed
And there are no insects there to come.

Maud did her own hunting
Ranging to distant corners, where her web might have been
She might have built her web in other corners
Where the insects might have come.

Somebody left the light on, accidentally
Somebody left the light on, and the window open just so
And the bathroom was filled with insects
And the web was filled with insects

For a spider that did not come.

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Walking to Work
Wednesday. 11.9.11 4:56 am
I had a rather interesting commute to work today.... I left very late because I had to call the internet/tv/telephone company and yell at them. They give as good as they get, so I was cowed and I probably won't have internet for the rest of November. They'll still charge me of course, by directly taking money out of my bank account, but if I send a reimbursement form by registered mail I should receive a response yes or no about the reimbursement in about three months. I tried to change my payment method to something besides direct debit from my bank account, but that apparently requires a 400 euro deposit, billed immediately, and probably taken directly out of my bank account. I don't remember that being mentioned when I was signing up....

So I walked to the bank in the mood you are usually in after talking to your local cable company-- after wasting half of your monthly allotted cell phone minutes-- after hearing a completely terrible American song about taking your spanish lover to bed on the hold-line for the cable company for 15 minutes....

I got some money from the bank, and a guy came up to me and said, "I saw that you just got money from the bank." This is not the kind of thing that you want a stranger to be saying to you, especially after my Equadorian friend's wallet was stolen right after she went to an ATM [she later found out that the guy had spied on her while she typed in her code, and after he had her card he made three separate withdrawals of 2000 euros each (the limit on the machine) in a matter of 10 minutes]. But the guy was very unsketchy-looking and had a tape recorder and a microphone, so I stopped to talk to him.
He explained that he was a journalist, and he was doing a piece on how French people feel about their banks. I told him that I was sorry but that I wasn't French. He said that he guessed that wouldn't work then, but then he asked me some questions about how American people feel about the bank, and whether recent events in world finance has changed the way that people feel about their money. It is true that almost everyone in France has a debit card instead of a credit card. They pay for most things, even very expensive things, in cash. Their bills are directly debited from their accounts. They are very suspicious of most things that involve credit and they like to keep their money close. Americans, on the other hand, have gone off the edge of the planet as far as charging things on credit, to the point that many people don't even pay off their credit cards completely every month, instead spending a month ahead of their pay checks and ending up SOL when their paychecks are delayed or they get fired.

To my great luck, we had just studied journalism and "expressing opinions" in french class, so I had all of my "I distrust..." "In my opinion..." "For my part..." expressions ready to use.

Once in the metro, I was chillin' and not really paying attention to anything when I saw a little tiny Japanese girl with arms no thicker than my wrists. She had a giant suitcase and a big duffle bag on top of the suitcase. When the train stopped, she rushed through a crowd of people to the next door down. She was too late in arriving, so she missed her stop. I was trying to figure out why she didn't just leave out of the door that she had been in front of, but then I realized that she didn't know what to do to make the door open, which is a big problem that all the tourists have here. She seemed to realize the way to do it after examining the exit latch, so I watched to see if she would get off at the next station. A french woman exited out of the door where she had originally been standing, but as the japanese tourist tried to lift the latch on her door, she found it impossible to move (the hydraulics kick in when the train comes into the station, making the doors impossible to open by old or weak people). She probably could have opened it, but now she was confused. She was about to try to drag all of her stuff back through the crowd of people to the open door when I got up out of my seat, ran the three doors down the subway to where she was standing, and opened the door for her in time for her to get out of the train. "Thank-you," she said gratefully in a small voice.

HEY FRENCH PEOPLE! If I can tell from a car away that she's having trouble working the door, then the twelve of you sitting on your asses directly in front of the door certainly have to know that she's having trouble with the door. OPEN THE DOOR FOR HER!

That was really bad, even for French people. I felt so sorry for the poor girl who would now have to drag that giant suitcase up the stairs of the station, down the stairs to the other side of the tracks, take the subway back to the last station, opening all the subway doors as she goes, and then dragging the giant bag up the stairs in the right station. I almost got out of the car to help her carry them. I probably should have.

Sometimes Japanese tourists break my heart.

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Friday. 10.28.11 1:56 pm


This time it's a cold though. Sore throat, runny nose. Usual stuff. It doesn't freak me out as much. I don't think it will stop me from going to see Muffy jumping, but I will try to avoid sneezing all over him in his moment of greatness.

This must be like when the Europeans first came to the New World and gave everyone every disease known to man. Those disease-ridden Europeans, I swear.


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le Saturday
Saturday. 10.15.11 12:51 pm
So today was better than the other days.

I got up, listened to FG "Fucking Good" Radio.... yeah, after every couple of songs they say, "FG Radio... F! Fucking! G! Good! ... Fucking Good Radio!" They play "electro and dance".

After that I ate some pieces of white bread, which has become my staple, and until today, the only thing I've been eating. There were occasional coco puffs.

I surfed the web, got mad at web comments [WHY do I READ them??], and organized a weekend trip for Sharkboy and myself to go Strasbourg for the giant Christmas market:

I'm pretty excited.
After that I took a shower for the first time in...... maybe 5 days... shaved my legs, very clean. I put on CLEAN clothes, which I washed last night. Then I ATE a HOTDOG. Yeah, that's right, a HOTDOG, with ketchup and everything, oh, it was so good, and it didn't hurt my stomach!!!! I surfed the internet some more, and by this time it was 4:30 already, so I went out to the Orange (France Telecom) store to try to get a phone/internet/mobile. The saleswoman was craaaazy. The adorable little old woman in front of me was trying to get a sim card, and the saleslady said, "GIVE ME YOUR ID CARD" and the woman said, "What? I need an ID card?" and the saleslady said, "You've always, ALWAYS needed an ID card." and the old lady said, "well the last time I got a phone..." and the saleslady said, "You've always needed an ID card, ALWAYS." This was also funny because the saleslady must have been younger than me. What does she know about how things always have been?

So I was scared. But when my little quiet sick french voice emerged to ask my little quiet carefully posed questions, the crazy saleslady softened a bit and explained to me that I needed a bank account routing number, an ID card, and a lease in order to set up my internet/tv/phone/mobile. Hélas, I must put it off until Monday when I can get my bank account routing number from my office. On the positive side, I can apparently get a landline that calls any country for free for unlimited minutes, DSL, cable TV and a cell phone for a total of ~50 euros a month! That's not bad! I then went to a store where they sell masquerade outfits, almost exclusively men's masquerade outfits. The internet said that it was a cool store but that they weren't very nice to their customers.

I found this to be accurate.

I wanted to walk to the Gardens of Luxembourg to sit in the sunshine, but I was just too tired from walking the half a block to the Orange store so I decided to go home.

I stopped at the grocery store and found the holy grail: SALTINES. I also found apple sauce. So I got some more bread, saltines and apple sauce, and had a lovely dinner. Then, as I was sitting down to write this entry, I saw 99 red balloons floating across the sky. Ok, so they were all colors, and I did not count them, but there were so many colored balloons just floating along! A lot of them were in a big bunch all together, and then the rest were just strung out across the sunset. +Eiffel Tower. Excellente.

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Le Flu
Wednesday. 10.12.11 6:51 pm
I have the stomach flu. Some kind of horrible stomach flu. Yeah, you know, living the dream.

I've had it since Saturday/Sunday. I don't think I've ever felt so continuously horrible without respite.... ever. Ever. I've had a stomach flu before. You throw up, you lie on the bathroom floor, hoping to die, hoping God will intervene and kill you in his ultimate mercy, etc. But you know, occasionally after throwing up you feel better for a few moments, maybe you sleep a little bit with lots of drugs. I just feel like someone has been stabbing me repeatedly in the gut for five days and as a result my stomach is leaking acid all over the inside of my body. I probably shouldn't complain judging from what ThisCharmingMan has been going through. When I eat, it is painful like being stabbed. When I drink water, it is painful like being stabbed. When I don't eat or drink, the drugs make me sick because you're supposed to take them with a meal. When I don't eat or drink or take drugs, I feel pain which I have now connected with being hungry. It doesn't feel like being hungry, it just feels like you have a big hole in your stomach. Trade pain for pain. The drugs just don't actually do anything at all.


Vive la France!

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