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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.
oh, cox!
Sunday. 1.6.08 12:08 am
I want to post an entry even though I have absolutely nothing to say. Hm. Today... it was Saturday, wasn't it? That changed my daily routine because it meant that I drove to work instead of walking. But otherwise, nothing was different. When I got home, I did the dishes. I think that took from 7 til 10:30. There were a lot of dishes.

In other news, I finally got my cox to work. That is, the internet at my house. It's flowing. Or whatever the interwebs does that makes it go. Sends packets? Series of tubes? It's always a relief to have working cox.

So I've been reading "Americans in Southeast Asia: The Roots of Commitment". It's a fantastic book. They tell you pretty much everything you never knew about World War II. I think everyone should read it before they start talking about politics today, because they'll see that everything that faces us today is just echoes of the past, wrapped up in newer packaging.
I was thinking that it must be hard to impose sanctions on a country. I bet your mood would always wax and wane between being really angry at the country for their human rights violations, and then reminiscing about the good old days when relations were good and thinking of all the people who were starving as a result of your sanctions. You would *almost* be tempted to get on the red phone and say, "Listen Cuba/North Korea... I just wanted to say that I've been thinking about you, and everything, and I'd like to send you a shipment of food/weapons/oil. I mean, it would only be ONE shipment of oil. It's not like everything's suddenly good now. But you know, one sentimental shipment of oil or pharmecuticals or corn, just for old time's sake."

But you just can't do that. Nope, old North Korea would see that as a sign of weakness. Mr. Jong Il would think that you're starting to crack, you see. You'd end up like the UN- laughable and powerless. In the case of Cuba, where the sanctions are kind of ridiculous at this point, and it's high time we flooded Cuba with American goods and culture, you'd have to just keep reminding yourself of Castro's transgressions so that you could revive that latent bitterness towards Communism and remember why you were doing this in the first place. It's the principle of the thing, after all. You must be firm.

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Chinese Water and Other Tortures
Saturday. 1.5.08 12:08 am
So I suppose prospective student season has started again. PROSPIES. Did it ever end? Today we had Mr. Black to call. How might I describe him? He was a boy you could bring home to your Ranor.

You know, the half-asian type. Harvard grad. Currently on a Fulbright in Iceland studying gullies. Good-natured, with a little mischevious Brendanness stifled behind his good-behavior.

We thought he wasn't on facebook, so we were initially going to write him off. "How are we supposed to know whether he's hot or not?" fumed Jay. "What a waste of TIME!" None of us in the seafloor lab had idea whether we should spend the morning writing our abstracts that are due on the 8th or if we should be spending that time primping. There really was no question for Jay. The prospie had cited Jay in his abstract on gullies that he had submitted to the conference that Jay is running. He had Jay at gullies.

But as it turned out, he was on facebook, and he had Caleb at Zax. Yes, that is the highest scoring three-letter Scrabble word, and Mr. Black knew what it was. Scrabble nerd? Et tu, Black?

We went to dinner and Mr. Black enquired after our Antarctica program. "Do you guys always get along down there?"

My advisor gathered himself for his carefully-worded speech. "We have a good group here. We have a good dynamic," he began politely. "And we pre-select a great deal." he glanced at us, as if he were unsure about giving away his secrets.
"I have them into my office and I have the window open. I don't leave the window open because I like to be cold... I just like to see how they react."

It's true. He does have the window open on the most ridiculously cold days. But it's because he likes it cold. ISN'T IT?

"And that's also why you have the water slowly dripping from the ceiling?" I added.

"He fancies himself a psychologist," said Jay later.


Perhaps he'll take that prospective to Antarctica some day. I WANT TO GO TO ANTARCTICA. I promise I won't have a break down, or go mad. But I wouldn't begrudge the prospie the trip. After all, he had me at "I live in Iceland."

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Falling Colorado Snow
Saturday. 12.29.07 3:32 am
It has been snowing just about every other day. When I came home last night my street was sparkling in my headlights as I drove. Tonight I went to get into my car and I looked out into the blackness and everything was silent. There is a more profound silence that can only be obtained after a snow, and this was it. But every street and every shop, every intersection, every type of weather, holds for me a memory in this place.

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Return to Nutang
Thursday. 12.27.07 5:49 pm
Well, it's been a while. That might be the most common way of opening an entry on Nutang. A lot has happened, so I'll just give a short pictoral history of the last couple of weeks:

hmm... I have more pictures to add to this but my computer needs a rest, poor dear. And I have a Mario Party Party to attend.

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It Came Upon the Midnight Clear
Tuesday. 12.25.07 1:55 am
And ye, beneath lifes crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow,
Look now! for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing.
O rest beside the weary road,
And hear the angels sing!

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My Day, in Graphical Format
Thursday. 11.29.07 2:10 am

Note normal peaks around mealtimes, and anomalous peak around 2pm coinciding with meeting with Lionel, who appeared as if from heaven to inform me about volcanoes just in the nick of time. The low around 7 should actually be around 6:45, and the value is actually more like negative infinity, so it was scaled to be within the range of this graph.

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To Each His Own Umbrella
Saturday. 11.24.07 10:38 pm
I was talking about "Looking Backwards" by Edward Bellamy. Again. I talk about that book a lot because it is very interesting and not that many people have read it. Looking Backwards is a book written in 1888 about what the world was going to be like in the year 2000. Read it!

But the reason I'd brought it up was that in Bellamy's modern-day Boston, there were awnings that rolled out from the buildings to cover the sidewalks when it rained, which meant that nobody got wet (in his day the rain would turn the dirt streets into a muddy morass). I said even though I wasn't fond of socialism, it was kind of appealing, wasn't it, that analogy that under socialism we were all dry under a continuous awning and under capitalism each man had to carry his own umbrella. At least, in the literal sense of not getting wet.

I'd thought of it because that morning I'd been riding my bike through the rain and I'd had to squeeze around a woman with a gigantic golf umbrella, who was keeping herself dry but taking up the entire sidewalk, and I was struck by the feeling that that was what people must see when they say that they don't like capitalism... they must see that big fat woman with that even bigger and fatter umbrella, much too large to keep her dry, but drying no one else and just inconveniencing further those who were already wet.

I was rhapsodizing about how lovely it would be to put an awning over all of us.
Once again Thalweg would humor me, since this conversation about socialism had come completely out of the blue and all she'd really wanted was a person to eat pizza with her during her break between labs.

Thalweg likes the idea that each man should carry his own umbrella. That way, each man is completely in control of his own destiny. Imagine that you are walking along under the government-provided awning, and there is a gap in it, or you realize that you must dash over to a place that it not covered under the government's awning. Had there been no awning, you would have probably brought an umbrella, and this would not be a problem. If you'd forgotten to bring the umbrella, you would only have yourself to blame for getting wet and you'd remember for next time. But if you expected that the government provide your awning and they failed you, you would be angry at the government, and you would blame the government for the fact that you are wet. This would happen, even though the fact that the government usually provides an awning should be seen as an unexpected luxury, and a fail-safe for those poor folks who are forgetful about their umbrellas. You would start to depend on the government's awnings, and blame your wetness on the government's failure to provide for man's basic need to stay dry.

And as they say, a man who fails is only a failure when he begins to blame someone else.

So I must say I've been swayed to Wise Thalweg's way of thinking, and next time I walk in the rain I won't feel angry at the woman with the large golf umbrella, I'll feel in control of my own destiny and upright with the knowledge that regardless of what the woman with the golf umbrella does, the decision as to whether or not I personally stay dry is completely up to me.

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Friday. 11.23.07 12:29 am
It's Thanksgiving, and when I look back at the past year, I realize that I have a lot to be thankful for.

I shall try to enumerate these things in my prayers tonight.

I like to structure my prayers thusly: regular Our Father. One must linger upon the phrase, "Give us this day our daily bread."
I heard a good sermon about this line once. He was talking about how important this part of the prayer is. This prayer does not ask for happiness, or riches, or security. We ask for enough to get us through just this one day, today. We ask only for our daily bread. We don't ask for our daily eclaire, or our daily meringue, because we don't need anything more fancy than to just get by. Just a day's share of hope, and kindness, and encouragement; just a day's share of inspiration, that's all we ask, that's all we need.

Then I ask God to bless everyone I know (and quite a few people I don't). Then prayers for people who need extra love and attention, or who are suffering. Finally, when all of these things are done, I have a free time where God and I can talk personally for a few minutes. Usually this seems like the right time to say thanks for everything I am grateful for. The chance to live, a beautiful day, the fall leaves, a special kindness experienced that day, my health, the sheer miracle of being self-aware and being able to explore the universe. This is how I fill the rest of my prayer. By the time I get to the end of the prayer, I have forgotten everything I might have been tempted to ask for, because I am overwhelmed by the number of things I have. I am embarrassed to ask for anything more than guidance or clarity. I make plans to be the kind of person who deserves it more than I do. Tonight my prayer will be extra long, because there are so many things to be thankful for there is no way I can make it through the entire list before I fall asleep.

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