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
Monday. 5.26.08 11:17 pm
My Car is Fixed
Saturday. 5.24.08 1:44 am
My car is fixed. Click this ::link:: to hear how my car sounds now.
Oh, what, it sounds like nothing?
Yes, well, that is how my car sounds too. Like nothing. Brilliant.
My car has been returned to stealth mode.
Friday. 5.23.08 9:31 am
::Sorry. The entry was simply unfinished. I have to figure out how to change that passworded message::
Tonight is the ball. Will I make it to the ball?
I haven't got a dress! Alack!
I haven't got a date! Alack!
Ahh... last year I had a dress and a date*. A dashing young Johns Hopkins graduate with a master's degree in international relations, working in Washington DC, and about to become an officer in the Army. Sounds like the 40s! And the dress!
This year I'll just have to get sloshed and dance the foxtrot with a bunch of drunken alums. And by that I mean stand shyly at the edge of the dance floor until I get tired and take off my shoes and sit in a chair for the rest of the evening, watching old alums doing the foxtrot. I'll probably wear the same dress as last year. Who am I trying to impress?
*ok, so he was a friend from high school up to visit for the weekend. Same thing.
Wednesday. 5.21.08 9:59 pm
So I got my car registered (finally). Because I'd never had it registered in my name after my parents sold it to me, I had to pay tax. To RHODE ISLAND. Who had absolutely nothing to do with the sale of this car. And since they technically sold it to me in 2006, I had to pay a LATE FEE on the tax. Well, the late fee was only like $3.50, but still. And I had to pay in cash, so I had to run to the ATM, which charged me $2.75 for not being my ATM. But it doesn't matter, because Sovereign Bank, the best bank EVER, pays me back for that stuff.
Then they told me that this means I MUST get a Rhode Island driver's license within the next 30 days or face citation. They're turning me into one of them! Noo!!! I couldn't get a license because I can't find my Social Security card. I have no idea where it is. So I went to the Social Security Administration downtown and applied for a duplicate. The guy was really nice.
So then they said I had to get the car emissions tested in the next five business days. Which probably means I have to fix the exhaust problem I've been having (Not me, the car) (ok, me too, but mostly the car.) But the last time I went to Midas they scolded me for having a broken hood latch, and I didn't really feel like returning more than 6 months later not having fixed it. So I decided I had to fix my hood latch. Plus I realized that the emissions test was also a safety test, and I doubted they would pass me on the safety test if they knew I had my hood bungee-corded down. All I needed was to move the hood latch <2mm. I could move it 1mm, which made the hood stick up more dangerously than before, as it was resting on the latch.
I sat deep in thought, imagining who in the department was stronger than I. Not an easy task, given the way I consistently exaggerate my own strength in my mind. I don't need a man to open my jars. I open other people jars, for heaven's sake. But then it struck me. Why, the Welshman, of course. He's been going to the gym nigh twice a day. I needed a brauny Welshman.
I emailed the Welshman and he was available, and I drove my car over. I left it for less than five minutes and when I re-emerged, Welshman in tow, I had a PARKING TICKET. This is because I'd parked somewhere on this street sometime this morning when I ran in to do some things, and then parked here again many hours later to run to get the Welshman. MEANING THAT MY PARKING TICKET WAS A HUGE SHAM! I said this very loudly, knowing that the parking attendent was several cars down, and that he probably SAW me PARKING THE CAR a few minutes ago... but to no avail. Goodbye, $20.
The Welshman fixed my hood latch. Not through braun, as it turned out, but with ingenuity. All I needed was an ingenious, brauny Welshman. Good thing there was one handy.
Tomorrow I will venture out to get my exhaust system fixed and my car emissions/safety checked. Then I will wipe the rest of the mold, algae, and dirty water out of my trunk, vacuum the floors and seats, wash the body, and get my driver's license. I may actually get to work sometime on Friday. Currently I've just been popping into work at random times of the day in full view of my advisor and leaving some projects lying about looking like they're in the middle of being done, emailing people at random times from home, and thus far everyone in my office assumes I'm in the computer lab and everyone in the computer lab thinks I'm in my office.
I may be in the library, no one could know. (I was at the library today, but it was the public library, getting the sequel to "The City of Ember")
I may be at home doing laundry. (I was)
I may be eating Spaghetti-Os and baking cookies. (I was)
I could be in the other building, doing work in the other computer lab. (I definitely wasn't)
Truth be told, I've ignored my real life for the entire semester, so I can ignore work for a couple days while I catch up on the last five months of my life.
Only the Welshman can know the truth. And all of you, dear readers.
Wednesday. 5.21.08 4:33 pm
Farewell, Srog the Dane
Sunday. 5.18.08 9:24 am
Srog the Dane is leaving today to go back to Denmark. We will all miss her terribly- especially the way that she reacts when she sees stretch Hummer limos, and the way she hates baseball, and the way she laughs uproariously while listening to Danish radio in the lab on her headphones. To give her a proper send-off, I spent yesterday making her a couple of mix CDs. One of them is a country music CD, since she had no idea and cannot fathom why Americans listen to so much country music, as none of this music goes beyond our borders. The important thing about country music is that the song sings your own life back to you, so I chose songs that might do that.
Srog the Dane is in a tough spot, as her boyfriend of 3.5 years broke up with her while she was in America. On facebook. For no reason. Now she has a ticket to Australia to visit him which is most likely non-refundable and a dilemma.
I've had friends in this dilemma before. Plane ticket to exotic location X to spend time with boyfriend or girlfriend. Jerkwad significant other (jwso) dumps kind, caring, unsuspecting friend a very short time before the trip. Unsuspecting friend only occasionally realizes that they've been dumped so that their jwso can date someone they've had their eye on in exotic location X. That's what exotic location X is all about. Unsuspecting friend is confused because jwso is acting really nice and still really excited about his/her visit. Unsuspecting friend doesn't realize that it's because jwso wants to have a wild fling with exotic foreign sexpot but also wants to get back together with unsuspecting friend afterwards because they had a really good thing together and they don't want to give it up. This phenomenon is called "Trying to have it both ways."
If jwso is charming enough, and unsuspecting friend is blinded enough by love, or lacks friends to tell him or her that jwso is a moronic selfish jerkwad, then it just might work. Amazingly, while unsuspecting friend may be intelligent and presceptive with an amazing emotional IQ, they will almost never be able to recognize their own situation for what it is.
Invariably, unsuspecting friend goes to exotic location X and it ends up a) disasterously b) awkwardly c) that they get back together as if nothing happened, but it did happen, so it will never be the same, and someday unsuspecting friend will find out about exotic foreign sexpot and THEN it will be disasterous.
Unsuspecting friend can't help but go to exotic location X because it's a trip-of-a-life-time, they don't want to waste the large sum of money they paid for the ticket, etc, but mostly because they can't let the relationship end without a large amount of drama (aka "figuring out what he/she is thinking because it doesn't make any sense and is confusing"). Actually it isn't confusing, it is very clear, but I still don't blame them one bit.
THE SOLUTION: Don't cancel your trip to exotic place X. It truly is a chance in a lifetime. Plus, you don't want to associate exotic place X with feeling terrible-- then you'll never go there. Go! BUT DON'T VISIT YOUR GDJWSO!!! If you can, get someone else to come with you. If you can't, just bum around the place! Problem is, some people don't do any traveling at all but decide that they can do it this once because jwso will be there to show them around. Plus, they didn't factor in the cost of staying someplace, because they were going to stay with jwso. This is why you must have at least two friends in every country in the world.
THE REAL SOLUTION:
If you are an s.o. in an exotic place, the proper thing to do is to break up with my unsuspecting friend before you leave or wait until you get back. If you must break up with my unsuspecting friend, do it because you never ever want to get back together with them again. If you are an unsuspecting friend, make sure to realize that if Japan or Australia is involved in any way, your relationship is probably over. By the way, this doesn't give you a license to romance a better-than-nothing domestic sexpot, either.
He crawled like a worm from a bunghole ::edit
Saturday. 5.17.08 9:09 am
I could have dreamt about an amazing adventure in Narnia last night. But no... I dreamt of cat parasites. What prompted this dream? Well actually cat parasites in fact, emerging from the bunghole of my lovely cat yesterday evening before I went to bed.
EDIT:: The cat has roundworm, which is a kind of worm that looks like a long, tapered piece of angel hair pasta. It sticks its head (or tail?) out of the animal's bunghole occasionally to have a look around. Squirmily. It often makes its way to the lungs of the cat, filling them with about 200,000 eggs a day until respiratory problems commence (so maybe my cat didn't have asthma like I thought!) Then it crawls up the bronchial tube to the mouth where it goes down the esophagus to complete more of its life cycle by eating nutrients in the intestine and laying more eggs in the anus. An animal filled with round worms can have lung problems, gastrointestinal problems, and problems getting nutrients. Death is not common, but when it does happen, it is usually due to mechanical blockage of the anus. Yes, meaning that the sheer number of spaghetti-sized worms squirming around in the cat's anus is enough to completely block it until the cat is so full of shit that it dies.
And humans can get it too.
We had already started our spring cleaning, but let us now bleach in earnest.
A Short Note on Personal Responsibility
Friday. 5.16.08 7:07 am
I do believe that for most everything in life that goes wrong, you have no one to blame but yourself. You may not be able to control what happens, but you are in control both of how prepared you are and how you react.
You are afraid of losing your job in an unstable job market? Perhaps you should rally to make it legally impossible for your employers to fire you? No. If you are afraid of being fired then you should carefully work to gain more skills to make yourself flexible, useful, and indispensable. Even if your current employer for his or her completely unfathomable reasons decides to let you go, your talent will be easily recognized elsewhere. Are you certain that your current employer will not recommend you to others, because he/she is a "huge jerk" who is "completely irrational"? I recommend turning the magnifying glass upon yourself, and wondering why it is that you find most supervisors difficult or irrational. No matter the odious nature of your supervisor, no matter the way your personalities "clash", each and every interaction with another person is an opportunity for self improvement. Your supervisor may be exceedingly dull, but excellent at networking. Your adviser may be very smart but lacking in social skills. Your coworkers may disgust you at the way they gossip about others. Anyone could use improvement in networking skills or book smarts. Coworkers can be a very stunning reminder of how bad you look when you continually speak badly about others; this situation also serves as a way to practice diffusing such "negativity tornadoes".
In this day and age, we are more likely to build an enormous fence around the swimming pool than to teach our children how to swim. We would rather keep all knives away from children rather than to teach them to use these knives safely. However, some day children will grow up, and they will have to swim, they will have to use knives, and they will have to experience pain, rejection, and disappointment. Worse, they will be unprepared to deal with these dangers, leaving them especially vulnerable and making the damage that much worse.
People who have not experienced much change are vulnerable to change. People who are not continually gaining skills are vulnerable to having their skills become obsolete. People who allow their fear to affect what they accomplish will continuously be disabled by their fears. Additionally, people who blame others for their failures will consistently avoid success, because whether or not you are to blame, the only person's behavior that you can change to make the situation better is your own. If you constantly look beyond what happens today, your frustration and short temper will be modulated by your long term goals, to which neither of these things is helpful.
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