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
Quantum Physicists of the Night
Thursday. 4.23.09 1:25 am
It's 1:26 am and I'm trying to figure out how to solve the Schrodinger Equation for traveling wave packets. Then apparently we'll be modeling some quantum tunneling.
Studying quantum physics is sweet because everything you do sounds so scientific.
Studying quantum physics at 1:28 is not as cool because I have no idea what they're going on about and I don't know whether or not I have a tridiagonal matrix and whether or not I need to invert it.
In other news, Wiggles has somehow transformed from the pale, wan, and lifeless Wiggles that he has been recently to a ruddy, good-natured, chocolate dispensing Wiggles the likes of which I have never seen. It's a good change.
Tonight he lacked the energy to travel the classic route from one side of the third floor to the other (through five doors, three of them locked), so he kept "quantum-tunneling" through the back hallway where we were sitting doing our work.
Monday. 4.20.09 10:04 pm
The cat is meowing pitifully. It is to be expected, but this time it seems different. I open the door of my room and peer out.
And then I smell it. Gas.
The smell isn't strong, it is just a faint odor of gas. It seems to be strongest in the TV room, and it isn't coming from any of the usual suspects... the oven, the furnace... I even waft the refrigerator just to make sure.
Not quite convinced that I should do anything and late for work, I open the sash so that the cats can have some fresh air and not die whilst I am away. Where is it coming from? The second floor?
I suddenly have an intense and vivid vision of approaching the apartment on the second floor. I knock, and no one answers, but as I knock the door swings inwards. In my vision, the smell of gas is overwhelming, coming from the oven. My neighbor lies prone on the floor in the next room. I shut off the gas and run over to him, checking ABC... airway, breathing, circulation. He is alive. I'm suddenly furious, and later in my vivid day dream I yell at him for not only being stupid enough to try to kill himself, but to endanger me and the cats and the rest of the people in the house. I tell him that he's lucky that I happened to stay at home today to watch my overdue library video instead of going to work. He is cowed and ashamed.
Back in real life, I grab my keys and head down the stairs. I hesitate on the landing. I knock on the second floor door. No answer. I knock again, louder. No answer. Troubled by my vision, I check to see if it is locked, and it comes open in my hand. As the door swings inwards, I am greeted by the overwhelming scent of gas. I walk over to the oven. The oven knob is on BROIL and one of the gas burners is on HIGH.
I shut the oven off and I am fiddling with the other knob when my neighbor walks in. Sebastian. Athletic, brunette, attractive. When I see him I hate the drugs he takes, all of his stupid friends, and the waste of his humanity.
"Did you know that your gas is on?" I say.
He looks over at the knobs. "Well," he answers, "this knob is broken..." he points to the one that still says HIGH. "I always think it's on... I often smell gas... but... I guess I was beginning to think I was crazy. I think maybe it has a leak or something, but I haven't called about it or anything."
He comments that he didn't realize that he left his door unlocked. I am suddenly sheepish, an intruder in his house.
"Yeah, sorry," I manage, "I was just worried about you."
"Thanks for checking in on us."
He continues, telling me about how he's moving to San Diego in June and how he's going to work at a restaurant so that he can earn enough money to go to Europe.
He doesn't sound like someone who would turn the oven to BROIL and leave it on.
Spring Weekend W0000t let's get WASTED
Sunday. 4.19.09 1:05 am
Well everyone, it's Spring Weekend, the weekend where Brown gives 50K to the undergrads so that they can get wasted and makeout with each other.
As if they don't do that normally.
As usual, the graduate students were griping about not being able to get work done on Saturday because of all of the damn "ruckus" outside [a concert followed in the evening by a foam party]. We decided to attend one of the concerts since it fit two of the three graduate student criteria: it was free, and it was right outside (the third being that there is food being served). We stood awkwardly off to one side and thought, "We are way too sober for this."
I started thinking nostalgically, "Aw... I remember back in the day when I used to have fun..."
But that, my friends, is a bit of blatent revisionist history, because during the intense college flashback that followed, I remembered that I used to go to these kinds of parties, stand awkwardly off to one side and think, "I am way too sober for this," before going home and being emo until I fell asleep.
We left the party, catching a brief glimpse of two of our drunk friends about to make some terrible [but fun-looking] decisions.
I think I was way too sober for college in general.
Maybe I'm just way too sober for life.
Sky of Dippers
Thursday. 4.16.09 10:26 pm
When I was younger, I saw the whole night sky as various combinations of dippers. The was the Big Dipper, of course, and the Little Dipper, but there was also the Square Dipper, the Teeny-Tiny Dipper... every shape and size dipper you could imagine, for every possible flavor of celestial soup.
It was not until much later, with the aid of a much darker sky and more knowledgeable companions, that I realized that the Square Dipper was actually the lower half of Orion the Hunter, and the Square Dipper's tiny handle was Orion's sword. The Teeny-Tiny Dipper was actually the Pleiades. I was interested in finding out the true names of my pet constellations, but I was also a little disappointed. Somehow, when they were dippers, they were all still mine.
Later still I learned that different cultures had still more interpretations of my dippers. The Square Dipper's handle (Orion's Sword) was also the arrow of a great hunter (the star Betelguese) who was hunting three zebras (Orion's Belt). He was too afraid to retrieve his arrow because it landed near a ferocious lion (the star Rigel), but he was too embarrassed to return to his seven wives (the Teeny-Tiny Dipper/the Pleiades) having failed to bring anything for dinner.
To the Maori, the Pleiades consisted of a woman named Matariki and her six daughters. To the Native Americans, they were seven women going to the well to collect water. In almost every culture but mine, the Pleiades consists of seven women. For the other constellations they had seen everything from herds of giraffes to sailing canoes.
So while I now know and recognize many of the "official" Greek constellations, and some of the constellations from other cultures...
secretly, inside my own mind...
...the night sky will always be full of dippers.
Friday. 4.10.09 12:41 am
It's nearing 3 in the morning. Zebo and I are still in the lab, simulating the electric field around an infinite rectangular prism. (For the interested parties, if you took a square and dragged it through space, you could make a cube, or you could make the third dimension infinite, and you would end up with an infinite rectangular prism).
Zebo is exhausted but determined. I made her take this class with me. It has led to an all nighter almost every week for the whole semester. We sit in silence. Suddenly:
"You know... I don't know if I should say this... but this is the hardest I've had to think... in a really long time."
Yes. Now Zebo knows why I do this to myself.
Wednesday. 4.8.09 11:17 pm
My secret crush from church on Sunday, also known as "The Elusive Sasquatch", did not appear at the graduate student council meeting. I had made an internal deal with myself that if he came I wouldn't be a pain in the ass (like I am normally during these meetings), but if he didn't come I would be. So he didn't, and I was, and the legislation that I didn't want to get passed ended up being passed in a watered down, lame-duck form that even its main proponent (the president of the council) called a "largely symbolic gesture".
In other news, I simulated a uniformly charged, infinite rectangular prism.
Tuesday. 4.7.09 9:27 pm
I walk into the Javanese gamelan room and he's already there, his back to me, playing the bonang panerus. I always liked him but I never really *noticed* him until he chopped off about 20 inches of hair and arrived a rehearsal looking tall and clean-cut. I'm late-- there was food after the talk that I was forced to go to, and I had to hover around the table until they starting serving it so I could get my fair share of free food. Believe it or not, most of a graduate career is spent in precisely this manner.
I apologize, but he doesn't mind. He wants to compare notes-- we form an interlocking counter-melody in the first piece we're playing and our professor hasn't given him the last part of his yet. As we lean over our hastily scribbled notations, trying to figure out his part from what I know of mine, I notice that suddenly that we're so close we're almost touching. He leans in and we are touching. He is testing to see whether or not I will adjust my position myself to re-establish my space. I don't.
Finally I move back over to my instrument, the bonang barung. He asks me when our concert is and I remind him that it's on my birthday. He asks me how old I will be. I will be twenty-five.
He can't hide his surprise. He asks if I took some time off between undergrad and grad. I tell him that I didn't, and say the math out loud: "22+3 years of graduate school...."
"How old are you?" I finally ask.
"What year are you?" I ask even though I already know.
Suddenly I feel very old indeed.
STAY TUNED FOR TOMORROW'S ADVENTURE: ZANZIBAR AND THE SASQUATCH!
Tuesday. 4.7.09 11:00 am
Once again, I bring you this important bulletin from the Future Leaders of America:
To: All Students
Subject: SAFETY: Brown's Safer-Sex Dance (win SPG tickets!)
Bringing back safer sexy together on April 11th @ Grad Center Lounge (10pm-2am). A celebration of safer sex with DJ Tramp of WBRU. Free water, free condoms, free lube, free love, freedom. Best "safety outfit" wins a prize. $3/Door. Presale Tues 4/7 and Weds 4/8 @ JWW mailroom from 10AM-2PM (+ enter a raffle to win SPG tickets and a "I want to talk about sex" t-shirt!).
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
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