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
Friday. 7.20.07 1:28 am
"There's lots of good fish in the sea... maybe.. but the vast masses seem to be mackerel or herring, and if you're not mackerel or herring yourself, you are likely to find very few good fish in the sea."
--Lady Chatterlet's Lover
So my friend lent me the book that was the inspiration for that movie I saw (from the last entry). The book, so far, is MUCH better than the movie. British writing>french film. Usually I would have to say resoundingly yes. But we'll see.
"Both Hilda and Constance had had their tentative love-affairs by the time they were eighteen. The young men with whom they talked so passionately and sang so lustily and camped under the trees in such freedom wanted, of course, the love connexion. The girls were doubtful, but then the thing was so much talked about, it was supposed to be so important. And the men were so humble and craving. Why couldn't a girl be queenly, and give the gift of herself?
So they had given the gift of themselves, each to the youth with whom she had the most subtle and intimate arguments. The arguments, the discussions were the great thing: the love-making a bit of an anti-climax. One was less in love with the boy afterwards, and a little inclined to hate him, as if he had trespassed on one's privacy and inner freedom. "
And with that I'll be going to the beach. I may or may not be around until August 4th. And you also know that on Saturday I shall not be disturbed because I will definitely be with Harry.
French movies: Like porn, only boring.
Tuesday. 7.17.07 10:57 pm
Ok, that's not fair. I've never actually watched any porn. But I did see Lady Chatterley's Lover tonight (the new, french adaptation), and that was probably close enough.
Is it the French? Is that it--- that's just the way they make movies? I remember watching (being subjected to?) this french movie one time- "Hiroshima, mon amour" it was called, perhaps you have heard of it. The frame story was just that this married French woman (why do they always have to be married?) is having sex with this Japanese guy.
Yeah, they spend a large part of the movie on that.
It's just after the war and she's come to Hiroshima to make a film about peace.
While this is taking place, she starts remembering her first love, a German soldier she fell in
But the whole time we're looking at snow on poor quality film and wondering why we should sympathize with some woman sleeping with The Enemy (I bet she can't even speak German!), these two are having teh sex, very SLOOOOWLY, and man is it BORING. For the life of me I have no memory of how it ends. The movie, I mean.
During the fine film I just finished watching, they don't even have an intervening German. It's just "look at all the plants" and then SEX! and then "regard, the leaves on the trees" and then SEX!!! and then "behold, she walks through a field of flowers", etc, etc. If the plants were supposed to be some sort of innuendo or euphemism, I think they forgot they were supposed to *substitute* them rather than juxtapose them. Ok, so it got a little more interesting around the end when they finally fell in love. (Isn't that supposed to go the other way around?)
Anyway, my two friends and I spent the whole movie snickering.
Mostly because of the extremely awkward editing. I swear.
Focused on Science
Monday. 7.16.07 8:37 pm
Today I am only thinking about science. All day long. Like right now, I'm reading a book about Aeolian processes. It's talking about saltation. Saltation is when particles are only somewhat picked up by the fluid medium (usually air or water), so they tend to bounce along the ground as they go.
There used to be these little nuts that would fall on the roof of our dorm from the nearby trees. They would always fall all over the place in one of the little random vestibules between the higher roofs. We always talked about having a rooftop salsa party in one of those vestibules. There were even speakers in the walls, as if this place was made for that purpose. Wasps lived in the speakers now, we had discovered. Auggie and other members of zeta chi sigma used to go up there now and then and throw the nuts at the walls of the room. Their strange, knobby, hollow, wooden sound would echo off the walls as they saltated briefly --cloc-cloc-cloc-- before falling silent again. Or was it more of a cascading "pong-pong-pong"? Anyway, that is the sound I always think of when I think of the word "saltated".
This time it was night. I don't remember much about what kind of night it was. It was a little chilly, perhaps- but in Southern California in early May the weather can never be a cause for concern.
I think talk of these nuts had been a part of the conversation that had gotten us up there that night. I know for sure that my insistence that a nearby tree provided as good a route to the roof as any staircase had something to do with it. Some measure of sparkling mischief in his eyes played an important part, perhaps.
We had been wandering around for some time up there and now we were both still- looking out over the campus, which was glowing with festivities in the darkness.
He came up from behind and wrapped his arms around me. His arms... around me!
I slowly turned around to look up at him then.
Whenever I remember this part of the story, I feel an odd vibrato that speeds through my heart in trembling crescendo. Strange, I think, that something intangible like a memory could provoke such a strong physical reaction years later. I wonder if they hooked up a bunch of sensors to my body and brain... perhaps inserted electrodes, put me in an MRI, placed chemical tracers in my blood... if they could tell me exactly what pathway that memory takes from my mind to my heart. Why not my stomach, like the feeling I get falling from the Tower of Doom? Why my heart?
"How is that an evolutionary advantage?" I wonder.
After all, I'm thinking about science today. Only science, all day today.
When did I start wearing a watch?
Monday. 7.16.07 6:56 pm
Yeah so... I used to do this ALL the time. I just never thought that anyone else did!
An Interesting Comparison
Sunday. 7.15.07 8:29 pm
This is a map of the United States where each state is renamed as the country in the world which has a comparable GDP to that state. Keep in mind that this doesn't take population into account, so while the GDPs of Iowa and Pakistan are comparable, Iowa has about 2.7 million people while Pakistan has about 170 million.
This map is from here.
Some countries aren't on here, like Germany, China, Japan and the UK. They are the next four richest countries behind the US. If you add their GDPs together, you get around what the US's is. Here's someone who took the map and did more comparing.
Block Island and PB&J
Saturday. 7.14.07 9:08 pm
Today Toku and I went to Block Island, which is a little island shaped like a porkchop off the southern coast of Rhode Island. I heard this guy on the phone being like, "I can't get straight from Block Island to Long Island. I have to go from Block Island to mainland Rhode Island and then drive to Long Island. Does that make sense to you?"
Too many islands.
I brought lunch:
Let's have another look:
You'd think that by now I would have learned my lesson about packing peanut butter and jelly. I didn't.
But actually it didn't taste too bad. Though I didn't end up eating this part:
I don't know (anatomically speaking) which part of the sandwich that was.
We had a lovely time. We rented bicycles and rode all over the island, taking pictures, taking walking sidetrips to lighthouses, going body-surfing in the ocean, etc. I bought this frozen lemonade, (which wasn't cheap!) but it had all these freaking pieces of lemon peel in it, which seems like a good idea, but ISN'T. I finally ingeniously bit the end of my straw until the opening was such an irregular oval that the peel-pieces didn't fit. Still tasted weird and gave me a toothache.
After we got home he wanted to take me out for Japanese food, because I hadn't allowed him to buy me anything all day, and he "never got me a birthday present", so we went. He also always walks on road-side of me when we're walking on the sidewalk. I'm not used to that, so I tend to make it extremely difficult for him because I don't pay attention to where I walk and he has to madly dash to the other side of me to... do whatever it is that men do when they stand on the road-side of women on the sidewalk. Usually this consists of putting his arm out authoritatively to stop me from jaywalking in front of oncoming traffic. Then I walk right through it, because hello, I'm sure they'll totally stop. They do in Cali, lah. [omg, btw, my friend had this album and she called it "Road-trip to So-Cali" There is no such thing as "So-Cali" There is a Cali, and there is a "So-Cal" There is no So-Cali. Get hip to it. jki<3ubff!]
I don't actually like Japanese food- namely... sushi, or most kinds of fish, but I ate a very good noodle dish with beef. He says they don't really eat sushi that much in Japan, only at parties and things because it gets rather expensive. Perhaps he would have liked the all-you-can-eat sushi at the Sushi Boat. I think he wanted to play the "I'll show you something new and gross and you can react in a squeamish girly fashion" game. But I've already had raw eel, thank you very much, and I don't react to anything in a squeamish girly fashion. Except... no, I can't think of anything right now. Squeamish-girliness is an unnecessary and sometimes extremely annoying affectation. Girls only really do it so that boys will pay attention to them longer, because boys love imagining that they're grosser than girls are. Observe this sometime: "Omg, there is a bug in my kitchen, ew! Ahhh! I'm so helpless and squeamish that I have to go hide in my room while my big strong boyfriend takes care of it for me! Don't kill it! You can't KILL a living creature! I can't stand either the bug or the idea that you'll squish it!"
Whereas, if she didn't have a big strong boyfriend, the conversation would go like this: "Give me that shoe." I remember one time this girl was whining about how her car's battery was dead and she needed someone to jump it. She was whining to this guy, of course, that she didn't know how to do it and that it was so confusing etc. etc. Not even thinking, I broke in and explained that I overhead their conversation and that I had jumper cables in my car which was right outside and I could easily jump her car for her. The guy looked a little relieved because he was obviously busy, and she looked like a huge raincloud had just settled over her face and she followed me out there with every bit of rage and no gratitude because I was not jumping her car, I was cheating her out of her golden opportunity to hang out with whoever that guy was. She wasn't that clueless about jumping cars, by the way.
Anyway, none of this has anything to do with my day, or with Toku, because he comes from a culture that in chivalry-level resembles what ours used to be like not so very long ago and you can't blame someone for that.
Anyway, after buying me dinner he said that he'd like to buy me something else before he leaves... a dress. What kind of dress? One of my choosing, he says. I don't think he's ever seen me wear a dress. Not very many people here in Providence have seen such a shocking and totally unnecessarily frightful sight. Maybe that's why he thinks I need one. I don't know about you guys, but most of the time men buy women dresses in the movies it seems like they have the design that they might see the girl actually wear this dress. Oh, and in the movies the guy is usually the bad guy and she is his captive for the time being while her knight in shining armor/Indiana Jones/Luke Skywalker/Gaston is on his way to save her. Well, it's probably not like that since he would be willing to let me choose it, but still.
Well anyway, for now I'll go ahead and continue buying my own clothing. And you can bet it will be unflattering. And have some kind of geology joke on it. And there isn't a damn thing anyone can do to stop me!
Friday. 7.13.07 8:38 pm
DON'T READ THIS IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE MOST RECENT HARRY POTTER MOVIE.
AND WHY HAVEN'T YOU SEEN IT? HAVE YOU BEEN LIVING IN A CAVE?
Ok. So. The Order of the Phoenix. Probably my least favorite of the books so far. Why? Well because Harry was such a little moody teenagery jerk through the whole thing, that's why. Of course this short-coming of the book was balanced out in part by how awesome the parts were about Dumbledore's Army. You couldn't help but feel that every time you entered the Room of Requirement that you were part of something bigger, something much more meaningful than normal Hogwart's life and your life in general. I know I'm being melodramatic, but I really get into the books I read, what can I say. But I couldn't get over being moody and angry that Harry was so moody and angry, and it seemed like the only reason JK was doing it was because Harry was a teenager. What I really wanted to happen was for her to reveal that the reason Harry was feeling so angry had something to do with his connection to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, and he had to tame this anger in order to be successful with Snape's occulmency lessons. But it didn't really come through like that.
But the movie: wow. Probably my favorite of the movies so far. I mean, sure they probably left a lot out. I don't really remember what, but I'm sure there was a lot. I mean, I remember the whole OWLs thing taking up a lot more time, for one. In this one Hermione barely picked up a book- that isn't really like her. But in the MOVIE they made a bold connection between Harry's sudden angry feelings and the struggles that he was having shielding his mind from Voldemort's. Which was exactly what the book had been missing which was keeping it from greatness.
But my favorite part in the whole movie was when Dolores Umbridge calls Professor Trelawney on the carpet during class, and then tosses her out of the school.
This scene was so poignant and well done I was going to cry. Everyone knows a professor like this. Scatter-brained, unorganized, most of his or her classes are jokes and everybody knows it. Everyone talks about how worthless this professor is and nobody can understand how they got hired in the first place.
But you know equally well that if Dolores Umbridge came to your school and put that professor on the spot in front of her students, and said something akin to "Predict something for me right now." that you would immediately become defensive of her, and your attitude would become something like, "Hey, you can't say bad things about her- only we can say bad things about her!!"
Professor Trelawney was the perfect professor to choose for this kind of attack. She's never been sweet to the children, and she's obviously a fake. The children also know that she really possesses the gift of sight, just not in the way that she thinks she has it.
And when she was just standing out there with her ex-hippie clothes and her big glasses and her trunks, and all the students were gathered but Dolores didn't tell them to go away- you just knew that you know somebody like that, who probably has a crystal ball and a house where everything was crocheted, and way too many tea cups. There she was, reduced to her lowest state, shamed in front of all her students. And then having Minerva come out and stand by her when all the students just stood dumbly by, afraid to defend her because they know that in some way she deserves what she's getting, but that there was something terrible about it, because it was done with no tact or discretion at all. Professors always seem to be little kings in their own realms, and you hardly ever see them interact even though you know they must. It is touching, therefore, to see Minerva stand up for Trelawney.
Professor McGonagall is an excellent character because she embodies the best kind of teacher. She is very strict and has very high expectations. She doesn't play favorites and deducts points as easily from her own house as from all the others. She isn't out to win your affections or to be your friend. But she always has your best interests at heart, and she is incredibly kind. I can just imagine what would happen if this kind of thing happened here at my school. Which professors would be bold enough to defend Trelawney, I wonder? Would you be?
Ahhhh this scene. You can at once identify with Trelawney herself, and that little fear inside everyone that someday your teachers or boss is going to wise up and start trumpeting your inadequacies ("I put a tracer on her computer and she visits facebook.com 25 times a day!"), and with her students, because you know exactly what it's like having a professor like that. You are incredibly frustrated by the class, but when the evaluation comes around you don't write any of your frustrations, because who are you to judge this professor? Who are you to get someone fired?
Everyone is immensely relieved of course when Dumbeldore storms out, robes flowing, and stands up for her. It was a really excellent scene.
AWWwwww I'm waxing sentimental over fictional characters here. I'm getting all mushy. I can't even write straight.
I love Harry Potter, what can I say. I can't wait til the book comes out, no matter what happens in it. The day it comes out, or perhaps several days later, I am going to buy it, and I am going to sit on the beach, and read the entire thing from front to back without stopping. If I should feel inclined to eat or do anything else during this time, I shall do it without ever letting the book fall from my hands.
I TRUST SEVERUS SNAPE!
And it's Friday the 13th today, in case you didn't know.
Ah, AP Physics Memories...
Wednesday. 7.11.07 8:01 pm
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