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 ï¿½ 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
A Gentleman in Russia
The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism
Seneca: Letters from a Stoic
Thursday. 8.2.12 6:10 pm
Take; eat; this is my body which is given for you.
Drink of it, all of you: this is My Blood, which is shed for you and for many.
Champagne, Men, and the Eiffel Tower
Saturday. 7.28.12 3:10 am
On Thursday the Canadian convinced us all to go have a picnic at the Trocadero, overlooking the Eiffel Tower. It was hot, and everyone had decided that they should bathe in the giant fountain and sit on the grass despite the numerous "No bathing or sitting on the grass" signs. I have to admire the French people's strong spirit of not-giving-a-shit. We had baguettes and cured hams and cherry tomatoes and dark chocolate and several bottles of champagne. Some visiting Germans asked us if we do this every day, and we allowed them to think that we did, because everyone agreed that that was the impression Germany should have of France. I waded in the fountain and the boys tried to push me in, and I tried to pull them in after me, and it had been so long since I'd had boys trying to push me into a fountain that it gave my tender little heart a pair of wings. We were lucky that the fountains didn't turn on, because they turned on a half an hour later and soaked everyone in the general vicinity. On the hour the large water cannons turned on and soaked everyone that they had missed, including us at the top of the hill. Children ran everywhere in swimming suits, sliding down the concrete inclines into the fountains. We stayed another hour, drinking champagne and then beer and then rosé out of plastic champagne flutes, and when the giant fountains threatened to drown us again we moved off. I warned the people who hurried to take our place about the imminent fountains, and my Parisian friends told me that it was a very unParisian thing to do. They said that real Parisians would have just let them find out about the fountains by themselves and then laughed at them.
Just as the rest of us had suspected all along!
We rested along a wall and MP challenged me to climb all the way around a bench without touching the ground, which I did, and we challenged him to climb a wall as if he were wearing a skirt and could use nothing below his knee (to simulate what it would be like for the Canadian to climb the wall) and he did. The Eiffel Tower switched on as the light began to fade and then burst into a million sparkling lights. As my old friend Phil would say,
"This is how we should live."
Love and Loss
Thursday. 7.19.12 11:40 am
My only love lies sleeping in the dawn's white early light
Mid-stream in a dream or a dandelion's flight
Across his face a gentle trace I let my fingers play
When I find among his auburn locks a single strand of gray.
A single strand of gray! On the head of this ephemeral, mortal man
And my heart explodes with tenderness like the breaking of a dam.
The morning sun lights up the pillow as the dawn gives way to day
And I wish that I could love this man 'til every hair turns gray.
Just as youth gives way to age, and spring succumbs to frost
The marching glower of the waking hour will leave our paradise lost.
And while holding fast is folly, for nothing gold can stay
I wish that I could love this man 'til every hair turns gray.
I found a paradise within, which is happier by far
An immortal priceless treasure in a painted clay-made jar.
So my affection through my love-locked lips I struggle to convey
Never knowing when Fate might intervene to carry him away.
Um, so, sharkboy broke up with me.
I was in the middle of writing this poem, so I decided I should finish it before the words turned to ash in my heart.
That sounds harsh... he broke up with me in a nice way. I kind of made him break up with me, because it seemed like that was what he wanted. I was no longer a priority, he wants to concentrate on his career, his family, etc. I guess I can understand that. In the end, it's all a nice way of saying that he changed his mind. It happens. He said it all started mid-May, but I felt it happen near the end of February. You feel it in your bones when someone you love stops loving you.
I guess it's scary that it can happen.
I submitted a short story to a magazine. It got rejected. Ah, well. In love and in literature, we must always find the strength to try again.
Unrelated: Fruit flies drive me crazy.
It happens sometimes
Thursday. 7.12.12 2:58 pm
I had a good day at work today.
Lord knows I needed one.
Dr. Wordsworth fixed all of my problems. And we spoke in English. And we talked to a cool guy in Israel. In English. And we ate quiche. Pistachios, too. And we drank champagne. Did I mention we spoke in English? And that Dr. Wordsworth is fun to hang around with? Yes, and he fixed all of my problems.
ps---Tomorrow is the fire-fighter ball. You know, it's a dance party. Hosted by firemen. It goes until 4 in the morning.
Wednesday. 7.4.12 5:01 am
Saturday. 6.30.12 7:11 pm
Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet,
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
Zac Efron and Justin Bieber
Saturday. 6.30.12 6:28 am
"Try it," said Zac Efron, holding a beat up old motorcycle helmet and a little white pill. The helmet was dark green and sparkly, like a space ship from the 80s. I hesitated. I looked at Justin Bieber, whose smile was both friendly and sad. I was watching the entire scene from above, outside of my body. My little sister looked skeptical. She was the opposite of me in every way. I was willowy and shy with fine bones, a fair complexion and a pointed, elvish nose. She was sturdy and freckled, with a long pony-tail of thick brown hair.
I edged forward and he dropped the pill in my hand. I swallowed it and reached out for the helmet. When I put the helmet on I felt a great feeling of joy and freedom, wrapped up in a million colored balloon ribbons. "You feel good enough with that helmet on, you can make out with him" Zac said with a smirk, jerking his thumb at the Biebs. I had a far-away feeling that was supposed to be a good thing. Didn't everyone want to make out with Justin Bieber? I could tell all my friends! They invited me to take a train ride with them. The boat was owned by the American Girl Doll company, they said, and it stopped at all of these amazing destinations and all anyone did was wear the helmet and have fun. I agreed to come along. My sister took my arm and we followed them to the boat.
We sped through the countryside, and at each station we saw kids waving at us like we were in a parade. The platforms were decorated to look like Candyland and the children wore bright white pinafores. My sister described them all as we passed. I was delirious to be the center of attention for Justin and Zac. I was taking my turn with the helmet on, lying on the floor of the train, when suddenly Zac was there, kissing me. I thought it was supposed to have been Justin, but I just let him kiss me, not even believing that he could be so close.
When I took off the helmet everyone was just hanging around again, sitting on different levels in the candy-colored train. "Soon we'll get there and you can meet him," Zac said, "And you can tell him that you made out with Justin."
I was confused. Justin's face darkened. "I don't want to go back to see him so soon."
"Oh come on, Biebs," returned Zac, "he's our leader. We all love him." Zac turned to us. "He's great-- he invented the helmet!"
"Yeah, I know," said Justin, not meeting Zac's eyes, "but I just can't do it again right away. I was just there."
"Oh, whatever, you're such a baby." He threw the helmet at Justin, who flinched.
Zac motioned for me to come closer. I didn't move. "Come on, what are you waiting for?" Zac asked.
"She's blind, you idiots," my sister blurted out. My face flushed with embarrassment.
"She's blind?" Zac asked in astonishment. Now it made sense... the timid way I moved down new hallways, how I used my foot to feel the edge of the wall, the way my sister took me by the arm and described for me the things we passed in the train. The third-person view of the situation. In that moment other things came into my mind as well. David Bowie, the leader of their movement. The helmet made you feel happy. It shut out all pain. Their leader would put the helmet on the children and then beat them half unconscious, and they wouldn't try to stop him because they couldn't feel it. Justin was his favorite target. The helmet and the drug that went with it was addictive, but its hold on you diminished as you aged. Justin had started to feel the beatings through the helmet. He was afraid of Great Leader Bowie. The two of them had to attract new children to the cult so that the Great Leader could continue his work on more susceptible targets. I started to cry, horrified by the trick that they had played on me. Within my teenage mind was the double absurdity that my tears came mostly out of shame for my blindness, my trembling desire to be wanted and accepted by these popular boys, and my feelings of betrayal that Zac had kissed me not out of desire but only as a trick. I felt that by ignoring my normal feelings of vulnerability for a few hours I had beat them, but I had only made myself more vulnerable, and put my sister in danger as well. I started hitting Zac in the wild and angry but completely ineffective way that girls sometimes do, battering my fists against his chest like hammers as sobs overwhelmed me. "Why did you kiss me?" I screamed.
"Oh," he said softly, gently holding back my fists. "You are blind. The helmet doesn't work if you can't see. You knew it was me instead of Justin, didn't you?" He grimaced as if he were straining against a sudden feeling of pain. "Why did I kiss you? I wanted to kiss you, that's why. I imagined what it would have been like if you and I could run away together instead of going back to our Leader. I thought you would have the helmet on and you wouldn't remember." He kissed my tear-stained cheek and then turned away. "Give me the helmet," he said. Justin shook his head. Zac grabbed it from him and put it on his head. He shook out a pill. "Hit me, Justin."
"I'm not going to do it, Zac."
"Whatever, I'm not going to remember it anyway, hit me as hard as you want, I deserve it." His voice became hard. "I know you want to do it, Justin. I deserve it." He took Justin's hand and slammed it into the side of his own head.
The phone rang.
I saw around me my bed and my pillows and the ceiling. NO. NO I must figure out how the dream is going to end! NO. FUCK. I WAS MAKING OUT WITH ZAC EFRON. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
SO WHOEVER THE FUCK WAS CALLING ME AT noon o'clock in the morning, thanks a lot for fucking nothing because you ruined my Zac Efron make-out dream you asshole! Unless it was someone I know, or my family, or my boyfriend, in which case srryguyzIdidn'tgettothephonefastenoughtrycallingmeback. ^-^;;;
A Russian Tale
Wednesday. 6.20.12 6:47 pm
We had been in Venezuela for four days when we met the Russian on the street. He was covered in dirt from head to toe. His clothes were the same color brown as his skin. He was barefoot. All the stores were shuttered and the road was full of debris. We had empanadas.
The Russian was from one of those islands off the coast of Kamchatka. It's probably one of those islands that Japan claims as theirs, but it doesn't matter. No island like that could really belong to a country, and no man like that could ever be contained by an island.
Lord only knows how he made it to Canada, but judging from his looks, he probably swam straight across the Bering Sea. He bought a car in Canada and drove it clear down to the tip of Mexico. After he sold the car he hitchhiked through Central America, as one is wont to do. Upon reaching Panama, he sneaked aboard a cargo ship headed for Colombia. Because nothing bad could possibly happen to stowaways on Colombian cargo ships and "snuck" is apparently not a word.
Once in Colombia he hitchhiked his way across the Venezuelan-Colombian border (and a guerilla war) and eventually made his way to Caracas, where he met us and our styrofoam container of steaming empanadas. He had been sleeping on the beach, he said, but he was a bit worried because he heard that some sketchy characters had been hanging out on the beach. We wished him luck and gave him the empanadas and he smiled and wished us До свидания. We decided not to warn him that he himself was probably the sketchy character that others were being warned about.
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