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
Adventures with Lightning
Saturday. 7.19.08 9:01 am
It was well after 9 pm, but it was still over 90 degrees and almost 100% humidity. As we drove through the city, green lightning flashed above us about every thirty seconds.
"Heat lightning," my friend said.
I'd never heard of it. She said she couldn't explain the science behind why it happened, just that it did when it was really hot. We were supposed to watch Star Wars at Zebo's house, but when we arrived we decided to stay outside and watch the lightning instead.
We moseyed across the street to the little park there and lay on the hillside. There were enough large trees around that we figured we were fairly safe. Besides, the lightning had so far been cloud to cloud. The green lightning flashed on, without rain or thunder. Then the bolts started growing in width and turning bluish. Thunder cracked not far away. The wind whipped through the tops of the trees.
If ever an alien were to crash land on the Earth and then offer to give us super powers, this would be the moment.
Instead we saw a huge thick blob of lightning growing in the sky above us. Instead of being bolt-like, this was like looking at lightning straight on. And perhaps we were, because the light grew to unbearable brightness and then went out. Immediately following, just over our right shoulders, a clap of thunder cracked louder than I've ever heard.
All of us jumped up as one mind and ran into the house, hearts unnaturally pounding and a nervous chilly feeling throughout our bodies.
Yeah, we're pretty much huge idiots. But when lightning comes so infrequently, you have to take it for all it's worth!
High School Students
Thursday. 7.17.08 8:34 pm
There are high school kids everywhere. No offense, high school kids, but could you stand to have a little less fun? Just having fun, all the time, aren't we? Playing frisbee, grab-assing, having inane conversations, going out for ice cream. You know some people have to work. Yeah, like all night tonight pretty much. These people are named ME.
So come on. A little less smiling, a little less prancing around like it's "summer".
Serious faces. It would be appreciated.
How I almost escaped the Matrix
Tuesday. 7.15.08 11:51 pm
It was 11:45pm. I was at work, as usual.
I was setting up a bunch of my codes to run overnight. Tappity-tappity-tappity at the computer. Suddenly, a bunch of text appeared on the screen. Before I could read it, another, single word appeared at the prompt.
The red pill? Or the blue pill? The hard truth? Or living on, knowing that everything in your life is a lie?
A chill swept through me, and it occured to me that there was no one else in the room, no one else in the building... (except possibly Patrick Swayze as a ghost, an even more terrifying thought). The building was completely... empty.
I read the text above my name.
"Hey guys, a couple of us were heading down to the mall to watch 'Hancock' at 9pm tonight. Want to come?"
Why... that was the email that I'd sent out several hours earlier. Incidentally, it was the last thing I had ctrl-C'd. Incidentally, in Unix the right mouse button is the same as "paste". Incidentally in the email there was a return between the body of the message and the signature, putting the signature on a different line.
You are not The One, Zanzibar
An attempt to be less "odd"
Monday. 7.14.08 8:44 pm
So, lik, 2day i8 icecream omg. it was sooooooooooooooooooo goood! yay ! !1 And then my friend txtd me & ws like, we should go 2 teh movies! & i was lik okshur lah.
omfg so lik my boss wasnt even their 2 day, i was like, y shuld i b heer/?
Public Service Announcement
Sunday. 7.13.08 11:45 pm
And so beginneth Zanzibar's journey into stoicism...
Henceforth Zanzibar shall cease to have emotions that are excited by happenings in the outside world, that is, things governed by the laws of the Universe such as Matter. After all, it is the nature of Matter to be still and sluggish, and resist all movement, and to act only according to the laws governing it.
Zanzibar shall henceforth be moved only by the happening of Fate. For the stoics, as Wikipedia teacheth, Fate is the agent of Movement in the Universe, and the soul, complete with its emotions, is subject to the laws of the agent of Movement, not the laws of ordinary Matter and events which take place concerning it.
Thus in the terminology of Newtonian mechanics, the body is Matter, and the soul is a force that acts upon it. The body has inertia to the will of the soul, but ultimately the soul (and therefore will) has power over it and can apply enough force to cause the body to act as it wishes (for the furtherment of Virtue). Thus the stoic may be said to approach all calamities with equanimity- even Death.
Therefore all of the emotions of Zanzibar shall be within complete control of her iron Will and not subject to any outside control, except in the occasional case of interference by God, who embodies Movement, or another soul, which, passing in close proximity to hers, may affect it for a short time not exceeding the length of time for which this soul is physically present and pleasing to Zanzibar.
Thus Zanzibar will appear as a placid exterior, a painted Zanzibar, whose emotions are carefully calculated by logos. All of her emotions will be thus be in line with logical thought, and never shall there arise a passion which is contrary to her virtue and/or common sense.
In fact, everything that Zanzibar does will be for the further refinement of the logos and the advancement of Virtue.
End Public Service Announcement and Randomly Capitalized Nouns.
Saturday. 7.12.08 11:31 pm
Ma code, ma code, ma code as besoin d'aide!
Qu'est-ce que c'est la probleme, petite code du raid?
Pourquoi est-ce tu ne marches pas?
Tu es la meilleure code que jamais seras!
MARCHE! MARCHE! Ne tombe pas en panne!
Ou je mourirai, ca c'est certaine.
IT WORKS! IT WORKS! IT WORKS! IT WORKS! IT WORKS!!! HOORAY!!!
My Awesome Day
Friday. 7.11.08 6:08 pm
So. Wow! So.
Yesterday was awesome. Why?
Well I went out for coffee with my friend Jeff whom I mentioned before (we met in Bremen). I drank cocoa since I don't really drink coffee. He just moved to Providence, his first day as a grad student was Monday.
Then later in the afternoon my advisor, Jimothy, decided to launch a model rocket out in the little grassy area in front of our building. He appointed the undergraduate, Shoe, as Launch Coordinator. Shoe was also the Purchasing Officer. I was the captain of the Recovery Team, which was composed of Shoe, Zebo and Samwise. Sethifus was the safety officer.
We cleared the field of frisbee players and Sethifus advised us to launch the rocket slightly into the wind, as safety officer, but we ignored him. We had a countdown, and the rocket went off like a rocket, way way up into the sky. It bucked several times and Jimothy shouted, "That was the parachute! Was that the parachute?"
But there was no parachute, and the rocket came crashing towards the Earth. I and the junior officers of the recovery team set off running as fast as possible towards the street. We had to take our eyes off the rocket for one second but that was enough to lose it in the clouds. People looked at us a bit funny as we ran through the streets, eyes glued to the sky darting around oblivious to people or traffic.
We never found the rocket. It went very, very far off course. And the parachute never deployed. My recovery team was a failure! Even Caleb up in the crow's nest (top of the 14-floor sciences library) lost the rocket in the afternoon sun. It could be up on the top of the geochem building. Shoe and I have an appointment to test this theory.
Late, Zebo and I zipped off to our cake decorating class, where, for lack of an occasion, I made a bon voyage cake for the Welshman and Crater Boy. The Welshman is off to Egypt to go snorkeling in the Red Sea for a couple of weeks. Crater Boy is going to a conference in Baltimore for a week. Which do you envy more? I also had to pay back the Welshman for the ten days he fed Tethys, the most aggressive fish alive:
After class, our cake decorating instructor told us a tale about this guy. This kind of tale deserves italics:
They were friends in high school (circa ~1987). She really liked him but she didn't know how he felt. Finally after she graduated she decided that she was going to change her life by joining the Navy. They went out to a friend's bonfire party and he said, "I have something to tell you." and she said, "I have something to tell you, too!" and he asked if she wanted to go up a little ways away from the crowd. They went to the top of this hill.
"What did you want to tell me?" She asked
"No, you go first," he said.
"Ok.... I'm joining the Navy!! I leave in two weeks!!"
He paused. He was happy for her, he said. "What was your news?" she wanted to know.
"Oh, my news doesn't even compare to yours. I'm so happy for you. Let's go back down to the bonfire."
So they went back down to the bonfire. In two weeks, she left for the Navy and moved out to California. Two failed engagements, a failed marriage, and ten years later, she moved back to Southern New England. She had left the Navy following one of her boyfriends who was a Marine, but it hadn't worked out and now she was at loose ends. She went to a restaurant with a guy that she had been seeing off and on. There was a guy at a nearby table who kept looking at her a lot. She thought it was weird, but she shrugged it off.
Later, whilst surfing on Match.com, she got an email that said, "Remember me?" She thought maybe it was a fake, but when she opened the email there were all these details about her when she was younger. The writer gave some clues and said, "If you remember me, give me a call." She wasn't quite sure, she had liked several guys in high school, but she was secretly hoping that it was The One Guy. He sent her his picture and it loaded slowly on her screen. Could it be? It was him! Him, only now even handsomer and stronger than he had been in high school!
Naturally, they're married now.
"Do you remember that night at the bonfire when you told me that you were going into the Navy?" he said.
"Of course," she said.
"Do you remember how I had something to tell you also?"
"Yes..." She said, "what was it?"
"I was going to tell you that I loved you." he said.
She asked him why he didn't tell her, and he said,
"If I would have told you, would you have followed your dreams and gone?"
and she said, "No."
and he said, "That's why I couldn't tell you."
Now she bakes cakes and he tries to steal the icing.
ANYWAY, after the class we went down to the pub to celebrate the imminent departure of our friends. At the pub we met up with the new grad students, Miss Cheek and Mark #3. They were very nice and I had a nice long chat with Mark #3. We call him that because Zebo's last two boyfriends (and serious, long-term boyfriends, too!) have been named "Mark", so we're just predicting the future. The Welshman and Crater-boy showed up 1:45 late for their own party, and finally Mr. Isaacson came too. They had a raffle and Mr. Isaacson won a sticker, a button, a t-shirt, a set of guinness pint glasses and a beta fish. Then we went to another place and played darts for a long time and explained to a guy how one inserts a spacecraft into orbit around Mercury.
Naturally I was DD; I drove everyone home except for Crater Boy who had to stay up all night making a poster for work. The Welshman was last, we parked in his driveway and discussed our plans for Zebo and Mark #3. Eventually we said adieu, and I went home and added roses to my cake until early in the morning.
I woke up late for work, and late for my weekly 9 o'clock meeting with Jimothy. But as it turns out he was late for going out of town and didn't want to talk to me anyway. At 10:30 we invited all the grad students to eat my cake. At noon we realized that every single faculty member in the building was out of town, so we went down by the riverfront and ate a three course meal at a fancy restaurant (it's restaurant week in Providence where every restaurant gives a three-course meal for cheap). Thai dumplings, calamari and scallop thai salad, chocolate mousse with strawberries and raspberries and raspberry syrup. At 4:30pm we ate Zebo's cake. And I think I may have fixed my computer model which has been broken since February, but I can't be sure until tomorrow! Huzzah! So I guess today was awesome as well!
That was a long one, good for you for making it through. ;D
Friday. 7.11.08 2:18 am
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