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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.

The Profile

Age. 37
Gender. Female
Ethnicity. that of my father and his father before him
Location Altadena, CA
School. Other
» More info.
The World

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
Croc Hunter/Combat Wombat
My hero(s)
Only My Favorite Baseball Player EVER

Aw, Larry Walker, how I loved thee.
The Schedule
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
Looking Backwards
Wild Swans
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 Geomorphology
Aeolian Dust and Dust Deposits
The City of Ember
The People of Sparks
Cube Route
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
New Moon
Breaking Dawn
Armageddon's Children
The Elves of Cintra
The Gypsy Morph
Animorphs #23: The Pretender
Animorphs #25: The Extreme
Animorphs #26: The Attack
Crucial Conversations
A Journey to the Center of the Earth
A Great and Terrible Beauty
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Dandelion Wine
To Sir, With Love
London Calling
Watership Down
The Invisible
Alice in Wonderland
Through the Looking Glass
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
The Host
The Hunger Games
Catching Fire
Shadows and Strongholds
The Jungle Book
Beatrice and Virgil
The Help
Zion Andrews
The Unit
Quantum Brain
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
No One Ever Told Us We Were Defeated
Memento Nora
The Name of the Wind
The Terror
Tao Te Ching
What Paul Meant
Lao Tzu and Taoism
Libyan Sands
Sand and Sandstones
Lost Christianites: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew
The Science of God
Calculating 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 Martian
The Road to Serfdom
De La Terre � la Lune (ip)
In the Light of What We Know
Devil in the White City
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
Red Mars
How to Be a Good Wife
A Mote in God's Eye
A Gentleman in Russia
The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism
Seneca: Letters from a Stoic
The Juanes Module

Juanes just needed his own mod. Who can disagree.
Freshmen: Too Young For Me?
Monday. 10.2.06 11:04 pm
Today my little geology chickens were leaving the classroom and I wished a good night to them and a good practice to my favorite soccer player. He replied, "You too!" and then added hastily, "Well, not a good practice cause yeah, um, I mean, a good night, too."

AWwww I looove cute boys.

They make having to give a 25 minute lecture on a topic you don't know well with only quasi-relevant slides, no projector, and about ten minutes between knowing what you had to talk about and actually talking about it totally worth it.

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Monday. 10.2.06 10:59 pm
"In a separation it is the one who is not really in love who says the more tender things."
-Marcel Proust

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Friday. 9.29.06 7:44 am
"It is a mistake to speak of a bad choice in love, since, as soon as a choice exists, it can only be bad."

-Marcel Proust

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Raining again
Friday. 9.15.06 11:37 am
I am getting a lot done today. I am cranking through the essentials and even some few non-essentials. I realized my mistakes in integrating cosines several moments after it was important. So much for my flawless first physics assignment. I am in my office, there are papers to shuffle, emails to return, assignments to be kept track of. There are pi's to be distributed. But outside.

Outside, as it is seen through my window pane, is silent. It is not busy. It is raining, a thin, gray rain, which would be invisible except for the trembling of the large, heart-shaped leaves on the nearby trees. It is the straight, gray, invisible rain of life going by, and the leaves are the trembling influence it makes on all of us who aren't hiding in our warm yellow offices, to busy to realize that it's been raining.

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Thursday. 9.7.06 6:15 pm
Let me take a moment in memory of the Crocodile Hunter.

I'm sitting in my new office, typing on my laptop and waiting until it's close enough to 8 o'clock to head over to "Joe's" house to try out some of his "home-made brew" with "some people". It's always like that in the first couple of days at a place. I would have said no because I'm tired and I have unpacking to do and I don't really drink beer and it's a rather long way to walk in an unfamiliar city, but the way he asked made it seem like to say no would be to crush all invitations from here on out. Plus, of the new graduate students, he only asked me. :)

I could have asked Sam to come with me, but he had another mysterious invitation, and I wanted to go and meet some people on my own, so I could report back later.

I got here a couple of days ago and ever since I arrived I've been flying by the seat of my pants trying to get caught up with everyone. The day we drove in we had to drive from somewhere in northeastern Ohio through Pennsylvania and New York and Massachusetts to Rhode Island.

That was the day he died, the Crocodile Hunter. It reminded me of the day that Princess Diana died, just because it was all over the TV and everyone was standing around watching and everything was hectic.

As you can see from my module, the Crocodile Hunter was my hero. Why? Because he loved life. Because he made no apologies for being who he was. Because he believed in something. I want to marry someone like that. I want to BE someone like that. I want to TALK like that. I guess it just seems like as soon as you decide on some kind of hero, he or she does something ethically sketchy, or stupid, or comes out in support or against some social issue that you don't agree with and its obvious they didn't think very hard about. Steve Irwin never did that. He knew all about his subject, he had focus and he didn't wander out of his area of expertise, and you knew all of his motives from the first moment you looked at his face. So Steve Irwin was my hero. And now, just like that, he's gone. How does that happen?

So that's really been bumming me out. Really. Bumming. Me. Out.

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Bremish Evenings
Wednesday. 8.30.06 3:48 pm
It's my last night in Bremen. As usual, it's late and tomorrow is an early morning (try 4:00am). Interestingly, it's my third pre-6 wake-up since Saturday. All in order to catch planes. One plane left at 6, one at 8:15, this one leaves at 6:30am. To celebrate my imminent departure, I took today for myself. I packed til 1, then I went out on the town, stopping to look for my mother's hairbrushes at every possible place (couldn't find them!). Then I went to my favorite chinese place. Sure, it's my last day in Germany and I should eat something German, but today was My Day, and on this day I get to eat whatever I please. I bought some things, got an ice cream, (haselnuss und Schokomint) and walked around downtown taking in the feel of the city one last time. I blew 100 euros within about an hour. I bought a coffee/chocolate cake for my department, which ended up being terrible, but they liked it. I got them a little card that said "Thanks a lot" in every language that the people in the department speak. On the front it said, "Vielen Dank!" I had to put it in German, English, Moroccan, Spanish, Dutch, and French. Quite a multi-cultural department we have. Once I made it to Birgit's office to pick up Gina's forgotten suitcase, she was gone. Everyone was gone, except the Chinese girl whose name sounds like 'Yoshi'. I had to call like 7 people I didn't know and ask each of them if they would be willing to come back to the Uni in the pouring rain and let me into the office. Finally I got somebody who said she'd finish eating and then come over. I waited and waited while she ate and then grabbed Gina's suitcase. The chinese girl was really nice to me though, and let me surf the web on her computer while I waited. Everyone seemed to meet really nice people today. They all said, "And on my last day, too! Why can't all Germans be like that?" Reminds me of the Olde British Proverb that Julian told us concerning the Germans: "Splendid country... shame about the people though." just kidding. Lots of Germans are quite nice. Not the one we met on the train from Hamburg, though. He was checking tickets, and we were on the wrong train. It went from Hamburg to Bremen, sure, but it was the "slightly faster" train and we were supposed to be on the "slightly slower" train. We were sharing a ticket with our new friend David from Togo whose mobile phone I had succeeded in recharging for him. David was holding the ticket, so the officer started berating him. David asked the officer if he spoke English and he said "No" and shook his head in an annoyed manner. I jumped in because David doesn't speak German and I argued with him for a while before I realized why our ticket didn't work. Alyssa started getting frustrated and saying things in English and before you knew it he was answering us in good English and explaining the terms of our ticket. So I suppose he can't speak English to French-African guys, but he can speak English to Americans. We ended up having to buy a new ticket for the train we were on, meaning that our original ticket (costing 8 euros a piece) was worthless and unused, and the ticket we had to buy was 26 euros, being as it was on the slightly faster train. We told David our names and he broke out in a big smile, saying, "Why! These names are from AFriCA!" He was a French professor at the University of Togo, but apparently you can make more money working as an automechanic in Germany than you can make as a university professor in Togo, so he's earning money for himself and his family (mom and dad and siblings) so that he can move back to Togo. Germany wasn't his first choice of a country to go to. He confided to us solemnly that the Germans were sticklers for the rules and if we were in any other country they would have let us off with a warning. So true. So true. Alyssa said, "Get me out of this COUNTRY!" Sure, sure. But I'll miss Germany. Ah, Germany. Shame about the people though.

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Just finished reading 1984
Sunday. 8.20.06 4:28 pm
As I've just been reading all of the great political novels of the 19th and 20th centuries, I can see what begins to rile all of those political science majors into their frenzies, or even more so, those on the fringe of the political science classes, who hear bits and pieces but don't really understand, who read the great novels but do not have them interpreted to death by "the experts" and are thus left to come up with their own conclusions. I think they do what they were written to do, they frighten us, they rile us up, they make us begin to think that now, the time in which we live, is the important time, the vital time, the time that will make a difference between the "perfect" world of Edward Bellamy and the horrible disaster that is 1984. But if that were the case than the vital time would have been back in the 1950s, when 1984 was written. It wouldn't have been back in 1888, because Bellamy presupposed that his utopia would be simply a natural progression of society, without some great interference or revolution by thinking man. It is then somewhat of a great irony that Bellamy's book, (one of the most popular of its time) managed to feed and precipitate a direct and sometimes quite violent realization of his Socialist ideals... which history saw fail miserably as the 20th century unfolded. Time and again I have to liken studies untaken of the human condition and psyche to be much like the study of quantum particles. Once you look at it, by the mere action of looking at it, you change it. You can't just observe it. That is, by writing a book talking about how humans are just now acting, you set in motion a series of events which will eventually make your carefully thought out predictions wrong. Man will read your book or pamphlet, and he will change in some unforeseen manner, and you will have to begin again your predictions of the future from square one. In fact the depth of your insight, translated into its increased relevance to current society, will determine the popularity of your manuscript. And the more popular your manuscript, the more people shall read it, and thus the more profound the resulting shift in attitude will be, and thus the more erroneous and out-dated your manuscript will become.

Today we must be careful when we make statements about man with reference to the animals. "Animals are people too," they are far more complex and sophisticated than we ever imagined, from the ant which has recently been shown to be agrarian as well as highly social in nature to the advanced nature of communication shown in the marine mammals... . However, lost in these discoveries and the will of the biologists and environmentalists to turn Man into the ultimate evil force, the destructive brute in a world of delicate, pristine, beautiful and innocent natural creatures is the fact that Man still remains the most complex, maddening, fascinating, advanced, and impressive creature we have ever encountered. Man is Nature's greatest mystery. Man is God's best and greatest creation. The environmentalists their kin wish to take God away from Man. But to take Man away from Man as well? What will we have left? No Promise Land, no Heaven, and now no Renaissance. Man is blocked at every pass from making his progresses by his own kind, telling him that every step that he makes towards progress is paid for in blood by the only thing that really matters- the Earth, which is a separate inviolate sphere of goodness, the Virign Earth, as it were, Man being separate and diametrically opposed to it, a parasite upon it, a plague.

I guess that brings me in a roundabout way back to the seeming incompatibility between being for the Earth and against war. If the Earth would be, as all environmentalists seem to agree, better off without Mankind, and war is one of the best ways to go about killing large populations of Man, than how can it be that war is anything but good, as long as they refrain from using environmentally-unfriendly toxins or bombs along the way?

I'd better stop before someone disagrees with my capitalization of the word Mankind- or better yet my use of the word Mankind at all, without reference to its better (more than equal! Better!) half. This is a question of semantics. In its dictionary sense, Mankind includes men and women alike, and those who would pick it apart are the very forces who divide Mankind itself, tearing away all of its jargon of solidarity and breaking it into every imaginable special interest group, which must then bind tightly to its own members, cast out all imposters, and begin protecting itself from the discrimination it now feels which it never did when it was wholly integrated into Mankind.
Sorry, that was a complete train of thought entry. That's what a journal is really for, to spit out everything in your mind before you go to sleep so that you can dream of whatever you'd like.

Merry Christmas!*

*Why I am obsessed with this phrase right now, in the middle of August, will have to be made clear in a future post.

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Rugby and Italians
Saturday. 8.19.06 11:14 am
Rugby practice was really fun. They put us on soccer teams of red against not-red for warm-up. Meghan and I were both wearing red, so they were concerned because "The Americans are good! We can't have them on the same team!" But we did anyway, and our German ended up scoring a lot of goals, thanks to some tricky passing and lots of assists. ;) After a while our British coach got fed up and started blasting balls from the goalie box at our goal. Since the goals were only some 20m apart, this was quite frightening, but he was eventually silenced when I stopped one of his shots dead on my foot. By this time it had begun to rain, first lightly, and then like mad, buckets of rain, sheets of rain, until finally the proximity of the lightning forced us down a ramp to an overhang with a team of soccer playing young men. (Not too bad!) Unfortunately, the rain began to run down the ramp, backing up at the drain. At once, the wall of water over came the obstacle formed by the drain and starting flooding the area under the overhang. We pretended to get ready to jump as the lake started getting larger, and the Dutch said, "Oh, have you got practice with this sort of thing from New Orleans?" I answered her regarding the break in the barrier, "Oh, I was rather thinking this was starting to look like the Netherlands!" She told me that I'd better quit or we wouldn't be sharing an office tomorrow. I think it's a sign that you're finally comfortable in Northern Germany when you can start making fun of the Dutch. The British coach decided to make for it over the lake. He put a bag over his cleats and began shuffling patiently through the water. "Ingenious!" he cried, "The British didn't rule the world for nothing!" I joined in with cries of "All hail the British Navy!" And then the soccer players showed us that they had the key to the building and it led straight out without necessitating a walk through a lake. We split, but the Brit was too far through the lake, so he kept shuffling along until he reached the other side. He held up his plastic bag in triumph! ...and poured out about a liter of water that had leaked in through a hole during his journey.

Last night we had dinner with the Italians. The best way to describe it is to say, as my friend Gina did: "You know all of the stereotypes you've ever had about Italians? They're all true!"

And they were. We ate pasta. We argued in loud voices. We cheered people all the time for nothing. Everytime anything happened, anything, the whole room would be full of shouting and large, sweeping hand gestures. When something bad happened, they all said, "Mama mia!" They were extremely friendly and we got on quite well considering they don't speak but a little English and we speak but an even littler bit of Italian.

It was awesome. I felt like saying, "The Olive Garden- when you're here, you're family!"

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