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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.
My Zero Sum Day
Wednesday. 9.10.08 8:27 pm
So, uh, let's see, where do I start?

Phase Equilibrium class was awesome this morning.
Then my advisor decided to get into the habit of saying, "Don't SCREW THIS UP." after everything he tells me to do.
Then I ate half a taco salad.
Then Fluid Mechanics was cancelled.
Then my boss's wife made me violently angry with a comment about my appearance and having been harrassed in general for the last couple of days I reacted by saying nothing and walking away abruptly.
Then I shared my research with this nice professor, who gave me lots of tips and good advice on academic life.
Then I got an email from my boss's wife asking if she'd offended me and that she hadn't meant to and she was very sorry.
Then I was very upset and since it was almost the end of the day anyway, I left. To cool off, I decided to go for a drive.
I had no gas, and the floor carpets reeked of dampness because of the leaking car.
I went to the gas station and filled up and vacuumed out the whole car, making it smell very nice.
Then I decided to buy some stationery so I could write back to Ranor.
I got on the highway, which is usually faster, but it was bumper to bumper traffic through the whole city.
A nice Mexican guy in a Mack truck let me in.
After ten minutes, this same guy ran smack into the back of my car.
We went to the side of the highway, where he got out and inquired about my health and we examined my car, which looked totally fine and undamaged.
I was fine, and I racistly like Mexicans because I think they are hard working, so we shook hands and part ways.
Target had only lame stationery, and Michael's didn't have any at all.
Target had all three Rambo movies as a set for only $19.99!
I realized that the trunk of my car is bent ever so slightly, meaning that it works, but there may now be a slight gap between it and the rubber that makes it seal.
This doesn't really matter because the trunk leaks anyway.
I eat delicious teriyaki casserole while watching Rambo III.
The End.

I think all of these events end up cancelling each other out.

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Monday. 9.8.08 1:03 am
So tired.

I. Am. So. Unbelivably. Tired.

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People Like You
Saturday. 9.6.08 9:37 pm
"Welcome!" said the Christian woman, gesturing us into her house. I could tell already that she was staff-- they have that perpetually wide smile and a nice cheerfulness about them that seems so intense it must be fake. But it never, ever wanes. Maybe that's just the Spirit of Christ, manifesting itself in the Intervarsity staff like a happiness disease.

I always imagined the Holy Ghost as a strong, warm glow that lived deep in my person, kind of the way a gas fireplace has that constant little flame way in the back that gets turned up in times of need or danger.

But for some people perhaps it is an all-consuming condition, kind of like being injected with botox, which makes you permanently happy and friendly no matter what.

We told her we were from the geology department, and from her reaction we could have told her we were from Mars... perhaps the geology department isn't the first place you'd expect to find Christians. After marveling at us, she said, "So you guys all found each other in the department, and then you found us."

She made it sound like a big secret club, like we had found out that we were all secretly communists, and after having admitted it one to each other, we'd finally found a den of communists with which we could sit and plan a revolution.

To be fair, it had been a bit that way when it all began. Angle had run into me in the basement and said, "Ah! I've been looking for you!" I am almost never in the basement, so I was startled. "There's a rumor going around about you..." she began, a little nervously. I had absolutely no idea how she would continue. "Sam told me that you were... lowering her voice... sort of, ok with... you know... the whole... going to church thing?"

That was pretty much the last thing I'd expected her to say, but I heartily agreed and she asked me to go to the Ash Wednesday service with her. She admitted later that she was nervous to ask, because if she got it wrong, how would I have reacted? It was a sensitive subject, particularly in the Geology Department, bastion of the Big Bang, the Ancient Solar System, Non-Geocentrism, The Origins of Life, The Theory of Evolution, The Non-Uniqueness of Man, and the Ultimate Demise of Modern Man at his own Hand to the Vast Indifference of the Universe.

We had found Cheeky the easy way-- Facebook. The Christian woman revealed to us that our beloved secretary, a veritable saint herself, was also a very active Christian. She told us it would warm her heart to know that we, too, were secretly Christians. So many new faces in the secret club! With the new students Mark #3 and Cheeky, and then Angle, Samwise and the Saint, we had 6 Christians in the geology department. Which, with staff, probably consists of about 80 people.

There may be others...

For the rest of the night we discussed such taboo subjects as where we went to church, what kind of church we grew up in, how one ministers to different age subsets, and how we could help in spreading the word about the group to more People Like Us. People who were Looking. People Like Us, who felt all alone in their departments. For the first time in a very long time, I felt secure to discuss my faith.

I drove home, and Angle discovered to her dismay that during the current storm (Tropical Storm Hanna) the roof of my car began leaking, dripping water on the backseat and the floor, much to the delight of several species of mold. It is leaking through the back window, which I had replaced five years ago when someone who didn't like my political beliefs smashed the window in with a baseball bat. Maybe, in these open and tolerant small universities, it is still best to save discussion of one's closest beliefs and ideals for behind closed doors during off-campus barbecues, among People Like You.

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Hottest Presidential Race in History?
Friday. 9.5.08 6:24 pm
Last night, I learned something new about Senator John McCain. That is, when he was young, he was hot.

(on the left)

Yes, America, John McCain wasn't bad looking as a young man.
(I met him, you know. Granted he wasn't that hot when I met him.)

Who could torture that man?

Add to that the Palin family:


Then we have the adorable Obama family:

And the Bidens:

Well, the wife's not bad, anyway.

Add that foxy Cindy McCain to the mix, and I think we may have ourselves the best looking presidential race in HISTORY!

EDIT re: randomjunk-- From all appearances, Woodrow Wilson would be rated NOT in the eternal HOT or NOT. However, it is somewhat unfair because I can't find any pictures of him as a young man. On the other hand, T. Roosevelt???

PS- To be truly disturbed, you should probably check out this link.

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A Martian Weather Report
Thursday. 9.4.08 8:59 pm
Remember: if you run out of small talk, you can always change the subject from the weather in your area to the weather ON MARS.

Here is the current weather on Mars:

The Mars Color Imager (MARCI) on the Mars Reconaissance Orbiter (MRO) images the whole planet of Mars once every day so that we can watch the weather. There is even a movie which shows roughly how the weather has been changing for the last couple of days.

You can see the northern polar ice cap, and all the other white parts are clouds, made up of water and CO2, sometimes with dust mixed in. These clouds can get quite thick, and they often settle around the tops of mountains, just like here on Earth. There have even been cyclones on Mars:

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It all began innocently enough on a Tuesday...
Tuesday. 9.2.08 11:41 pm
You've never really experienced graduate school until your advisor puts his hands around your neck and physically throttles you.

Yeah, so I forgot to number my pages... big deal!

In other news, I was attacked by my cat this morning, and, uh... a bunch of my bffs are moving to Antarctica... I had to completely rearrange a 5-page single-spaced bibliography....

But all in all, it was a pretty good day. The first day of classes is tomorrow, so clearly things can only get better.

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Another Angry Rant by Zanzibar
Tuesday. 9.2.08 1:01 am
Due to recent events, I have a few choice words for people who cheat on their spouses and significant others:
Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

For the sake of the English language, I will henceforth refer to only "spouses" and use the English neuter "he" with the implicit awareness that it could be a significant other or spouse of either gender.

Let me make this clear:

You cheating on your spouse is your fault. It is always wrong. It isn't your spouse's fault for ignoring you or not "fulfilling your needs" or even being a jackass to you. Your spouse could be doing all of these things and none of them justifies cheating on him.

In fact, the activities and character of your spouse are completely independent variables that do not affect in the least the internal "Will I cheat?" equation.

Cheating or not cheating comes completely from within, completely from whether or not you have the fundamental integrity and self-respect not to engage in activities which are morally wrong.

If you think to yourself, "I can't cheat on him, because it would make him sad/angry" or perhaps, "I can't cheat on him, because it would hurt him too much," then you have the wrong state of mind. The internal dialogue should be, "I can't cheat on him, because I am not that kind of person." "I would never cheat on him, because I value my honor too greatly to dirty it by such a petty and morally reprehensible act." Otherwise, you will continue cheating on your partners, waiting for "The One" who will be so great that it will never even enter your mind to want someone else. There is no one that great. No one will ever be able to fill that space, especially since you will have been spending a great many months and years training your eye to see people outside your relationship instead of focusing on what you have.

So your spouse is a jackass. Perhaps he's even cheated on you! SO DUMP HIM ALREADY. If you can't keep your insane libido in check for as long as it takes to dump him, you have other more serious issues with self control.

This isn't targeted at anyone in particular, mind you, I have been planning to write it for the past several weeks after meeting some particularly disgusting examples of the human race for whom such activity is apparently commonplace. But if you see yourself in it, by all means be offended by it. Alternatively, you could grow a pair and do what is right.

In the manner of MoDS,

That is all.

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The Worst Shower Ever
Sunday. 8.31.08 8:49 am
So I was in my hostel in Reykjavik, and I decided to take a shower. The showers are all in common bathrooms off the hallway. The water in Reykjavik is heated almost completely using geothermal sources, so it is always quite toasty. Sometimes it smells faintly of sulfur, though.

The shower had the normal large mosquito-catchers perched around the inside, and one large, dead spider caught between the wall and the wall of the next shower, but experience had showed these to be harmless, so I was unworried. Like most European showers, space was extremely limited, with very little room to move about. It occurred to me that perhaps this was why European women didn't shave their legs... they couldn't reach them without being a contortionist.

The shower knobs were also a little tricky: a very slight turn could mean a big difference in shower temperature, and it didn't say which one was hot and which was cold, or which way you turn them to get yourself more of either. The shower head was of the type that came off its cradle so you could hold it like a paddle.

So it was that I turned a wrong knob. The water turned very hot and started to burn me. I quickly turned the cold knob. The wrong way. The water turned scalding. There was no where in the shower where I could move to escape the stream of water. I reached up and grabbed the shower head to turn it into the wall. Instead it fell off its cradle. It hit the ground and started spinning around wildly about its cord, scalding my legs on every pass. The pain was blinding! I had to escape! I opened the door to the shower and stepped out on the the floor. I slipped catastrophically and fell against the stall door. I finally came crashing to the ground. The shower head had turned so that it was spraying burning water in an arc right out the door of the shower and onto my body. I grabbed the shower head and pointed it back into the shower. I had cut my foot all the way down the top, and it was bleeding. Another cut was between my toes and one on the bottom of my foot, perfect for the floor of a hostel bathroom. As I lay on the floor, a mosquito came and landed on my fried, red, still burning and exposed leg.
I killed it.


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