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
Jews, Dolphin Vortex Rings, and the Javenese Gamelan
Monday. 12.8.08 9:53 pm
I had a good weekend. I went to Shabbat at the Hillel, because they said that you didn't have to be Jewish. I was still the only non-Jewish person there, but it's the thought that counts. I met a lot of really nice people and learned a lot about Shabbat and whether not doing things is more passive or active than remembering things. I also went to some services-- they recommended I go to the service that was only singing. Jews are a pretty excellent bunch for singing and dancing, and everyone got into the swing with the clapping and the dancing about and the praising God in Hebrew and all that. It was transliterated in the hymnal so I could follow along. Surprisingly (though perhaps it shouldn't have been) a lot of the songs were very similar to our prayers, so I felt like I was back home in my church only singing better hymns in a key that a normal person could actually handle. It was a special Israeli Shabbat this week so we had Israeli food and challah. It was very doughy and delicious. I had an excellent time, I might go back (perhaps I will become like the boy in Life of Pi who was regularly going to three different religious services a week).
I spent the rest of the weekend going to a formal and the office Christmas party. On Sunday I spent all day playing Javanese gamelan until our concert at 5pm. We screwed up pretty badly a couple of times, but we pretended like we knew what we were doing and since people didn't know what to expect I don't think they noticed too much. A bunch of my friends came. :D I let them play the bonang after the concert and they all seemed very appreciative of the strange and wonderful Javanese sound. Afterwards I went to Zebo's orchestra concert. Tonight I went to my friend Lish's Greek chorus concert. It was in a huge church with a huge balcony but the fire marshall wouldn't let anyone sit up there, so everyone was crammed standing up in the back and the aisles. The entire program was in Latin with a little bit of Greek, including the announcements, so you never really had any idea what was going on. We sang all of our favorite Christmas carols in Latin, which really got me in the Christmas spirit. Walking through the freezing, freezing cold also made me awake enough to finally do my fluid mechanics homework (and before 3 am, too!)
Today was the last day of fluid mechanics, so it is only right and salutary for me to post a fluid mechanics-y video:
As my prof said, this video is the one that makes you realize just how little we really know about fluid mechanics. Or in my words, "wtf? That's awesome!"
Wednesday. 12.3.08 9:59 pm
The Graduate Student Council (GSC) has been discussing ideas on how to spend its surplus. One idea that was proposed was to use it to provide conference funding for people who were not eligible for conference funding from the graduate school. This would include first year students, sixth year students, people wanting to attend more than one conference in a year, people wanting to attend a conference where they were not presenting, etc. Naturally the sciences are rather unsympathetic, since we are usually independently funded and we don't depend on the graduate school.
My friend Rhodes made the impassioned argument that providing conference funding from the GSC treasury was fundamentally wrong. The GSC budget is composed of "activity fees" paid by the graduate student body each semester. When organizations ask for money from the GSC, our main requirement when deciding whether to fund them is whether or not the activity that they are proposing will be open to the whole graduate student body, so that contributing members can get value back from their activity fee. Giving conference funding, she argued, would be giving money given by all and meant for all for the private use of a few.
She went on to suggest that if we were raking in a huge surplus, we might consider reducing the activity fee.
And she calls herself a democrat.
A change to the bylaws to provide conference funding was narrowly defeated.
They also suggested a change to the bylaws which would create a system of good and poor standing for departments. If your representatives (2 from each department) didn't come to 3 of 4 of the last GSC meetings, you would be in poor standing, and you would forfeit the partial refund of your activity fee that is currently available with a majority of student signatures. If your department is in good standing, your department would automatically get the refund (without signatures). Naturally, the departments that never come to the meeting are also departments that do not attend many GSC functions (most of which comprise standing in a crowded room and drinking as much alcohol as possible until it runs out around 11 pm). Therefore it is a tyranny that their contribution to the GSC should be seized. This policy also pins the responsibility for the money of the entire department on the actions of their representatives (who are usually forced into the job for lack of volunteers). The officers suggested that these departments should just assign different representatives. I suggested that the GSC should not have use blackmail to perpetuate its own existence, and that rather than the money belonging to the GSC and the GSC benevolently offering to refund some of it to its constituency, it should be recognized that the money belongs to the constituency, and it is given in trust to the GSC for the purpose of funding activities. If departments choose to fund their own activities, it should be returned to them whether or not 2/40 of them come to your sanctimonious meeting. I didn't say it quite like that.
It passed anyway. Everyone who was there to vote is obviously not from one of these absent departments, and the board will never deny a policy aimed at shoring up their own influence, by whatever means necessary.
We spent the rest of the meeting electing officers dedicated to getting us more money and debating how we should spend our surplus. Someone suggested a scotch tasting. Rhodes and I will continue to fight to return the money to its rightful owners...
POWER TO THE PEOPLE!
Sunday. 11.30.08 10:58 pm
An ROV from Shell's deep drilling program comes face to face with an ALIEN. It is probably from the parallel ocean beneath our fragile ocean floor, and it will probably be followed by the fearsome MEGALODON.
ps- it's real!
The Elves and the Nutanger
Saturday. 11.29.08 11:02 am
Going to sleep late and waking up early sucks, because internet has barely changed in the time that you were away. How am I supposed to amuse myself? I even have the last shout in the shout box. I think it is the job of the people who live in Asia to make interesting entries, like jolenesiah did last night, so that when I wake up I will have something to read. I beg of you.
Luckily all wasn't for naught, as the world changed last night and today there is a beautiful blanket of Colorado snow over everything.
Well, I'm going away for the weekend, and when I come back, internet, you BETTER HAVE CHANGED!
Shall We Dance?
Friday. 11.28.08 1:08 am
Shall we dance?
On a bright cloud of music shall we fly?
Shall we dance?
Shall we then say "goodnight" and mean "goodbye"?
When the last little star has left the sky,
Shall we still be together
With our arms around each other
And shall you be my new romance?
On the clear understanding
That this kind of thing can happen,
Shall we dance?
Shall we dance?
Shall we Dance?
Wednesday. 11.26.08 2:53 pm
This is probably the 80 billionth blog entry about Twilight on Nutang. I just started reading it, to prepare myself to go to the movie later on in the week. I have been out of the Twilight loop because of my ridiculous work schedule. I hadn't even watched TV since.... ... ..... the debates?
So far I like it. This girl reminds me of myself in high school, only she is clearly way more mature than I was and a better cook, and I was less of a spazz in gym class. I don't know what about her reminds me of myself... maybe it's how she schedules time for herself to feel depressed.
Lord knows there has been more than one boy who has driven me into the absolutely ridiculous state of distraction that Edward seems to induce in Bella.
I was just lucky that these neither of those boys were vampires.
OR WERE THEY?!?!!!?
The other book I just read (on the plane) was "The Incredible Shrinking Man" which was written by the same guy who wrote "I am Legend". This book was about none other than a shrinking man, who woke up every morning 1/7" shorter than the day before. The best part is that you can totally imagine the author sitting around in his cellar thinking about you would see every object differently depending on how progressively small you were. A spider would start as an annoyance and then escalate into a lethal threat as each day passed. A lawn chair would be a nice place to sit, and then a convenient ladder, until it was an impossibly irregular cliff face. Each day you would curse yourself for not thinking ahead and taking measures to help the smaller version of yourself who would come along later.
I would recommend this book to middaymoon except for it has several scandalous parts in it and whenever I recommend books to people and then remember that they have scandalous parts in them I get very worried that they'll think, "And just why did she think I would want to read this FILTH!?"
I swear it's just because of the mind-bendiness of it all.
...back to Twilight.
::EDIT:: One of them was definitely a vampire.
::EDIT2:: Having reached the end of the book, I see that there are very important ways in which I am not like Bella at all.
Cleanin' Out My Closet
Tuesday. 11.25.08 11:22 pm
So I'm back home in the Queen City of the Plains, and I'm cleaning out my closet. I have less in my closet than say, Eminem, but there's still quite a bit in there.
One problem is that I haven't grown much since the 8th grade (besides perhaps in the bust), meaning that all of my old clothes still technically fit, just a little bit *differently* than before.
The other huge tragedy is the fact that there is no way I can take all this stuff back to Prov-town (or store it once I get there). This means that every time I come home I must make as much use of my sombrero and storm trooper helmet as possible.
Dreaming of Patrick Dempsey
Sunday. 11.23.08 4:37 pm
So I had this dream, and in the dream I was Patrick Dempsey, and in my natural romantic-comedy style, I had made a mess of things and the girl that I really loved was mad at me.
I was determined to make it up to her, so I had my friend take her out in a small boat on the lake in Central Park. A bunch more of my friends came around in their boats and they were all singing a song to her. I gave one of my friends some plastic gold rings, among which was a beautiful gold and diamond engagement ring, and he swam over to her boat and handed them to her. I followed, diving into the water and swimming over to her boat. I climbed in, totally wet, and I had a piece of paper. I had written my apology on it.
I looked her in the eye and recited my apology. Naturally I imbued it with enough spontaneity to be sincere, but I wanted her to see how long I had thought about it, which is why I wrote some of it down. I told her (and I hadn't told anyone this, ever, because of my bachelor ways!) how much I truly loved her, valued her, couldn't live without her, and how I had come to realize that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. I asked her to marry me.
She gave me a funny look, like she hadn't expected me to say that. A long silence ensued, until I said lamely, "Or if you don't want to, that's ok."
"I can't marry you." she said very frankly.
"Oh... I mean, I know you don't like my family," I said, suddenly supplied with years of memories about what a dysfunctional mess my family was, "but we can move out West, we'll never have to see them!"
She shook her head. "This isn't about your family, Patrick" she said, "I am not going to marry you."
I was struggling for more reasons behind her statement so that I could diffuse them, but there was nothing. My apology, for whatever it was that I had done, wasn't enough, and could never be enough.
I was suddenly aware of all my friends still being nearby in their rowboats. My disbelief started to turn into a cold, horrible feeling of realization and embarrassment. She said she was sorry that it had to be so public like this. I mumbled another apology, I should have asked her in a more private place. I got to my feet shakily and threw myself overboard again, swimming awkwardly away in my soaking-but-charming-Patrick-Dempsey outfit. I reached one of my friends in his row boat, who looked at my questioningly because he figured I would row back with my beloved.
"She said 'no'" I managed to croak, and his face blanched with shock. I was having a hard time breathing. He didn't say anything else, he just rowed hurriedly for shore and the club. I entered the club through the men's locker room, blindly searching for the locker that had my dry clothes. I had planned an engagement party for us at the club, all of our friends were probably already there.
"Where does this door go?" I asked a man in the locker room. I didn't want to accidentally enter the room with the party. He didn't know, and I peeked out to see an antechamber that led to the party room. In it was one of the women from the party, an acquaintance of mine. She caught sight of me and her face lit up with happiness. "So?" she enthused.
My face fell and she caught sight of my still water-logged clothing. "She said, 'no'" I said quietly, sounding still surprised.
Her face looked like my friend's. She disappeared back through the other door- to disperse the party, I knew. I wandered around and finally found the locker with my dry clothes and changed into them. I snuck out the back of the club and walked down to the park. It was such a beautiful, sunny day.
I ran into myself (as in, the true Zanzibar version of myself) and her sister (jinyu), who were walking with their [our] dog.
"Hey there, kid," Zanzibar said, putting her arm around me in a jocund manner, "You look down. Don't go home... hang around with us. We can go see the new James Bond movie this afternoon... take your mind off things."
So I did.
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