Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Wife of John Howard

A few days ago, I did research about Kevin Rudd's wife Therese Rein. Today, I'm going to look at John Howard's wife. This should be an interesting experience for me. John Howard is part of the Liberal party. I love them as much as I love the Republican party. How will I end up feeling about John Howard's wife? Will there be anything about her that I can like or respect?

First of all, what's her name? I better start my googling.

Alison Janette Howard. I like the name Alison. Her maiden name is Parker. She seems a little more old fashioned than Rudd's wife who kept her maiden name. I kept my maiden name. I don't think I was really trying to make a feminist statement or anything. It's just I was too lazy to go change my name. Oh and also, my name sounds very bad with my husband's last name. It doesn't fit well together at all.

Howard's birthday is 11 July 1944. Let's go play with the birthday website!

She's a Cancer and was born on a Tuesday.

Her life path number is 9. 9 is all about doing good for humanity. This numerology website describes 9's: You have great compassion and seek to create a more humane society.

Does this description fit Howard? I guess I shall see.

In Chinese astrology, Howard is a monkey.

Her Native American zodiac sign is a woodpecker. Therese Rein is also a Woodpecker and she's also a Cancer. Interesting. Maybe Cancer Woodpeckers are more likely to turn into political wives.

Lord Wiki refers to Howard as Janette rather than Alison. I wonder why that is. Did she not like the name Alison? What's wrong with Alison? Why does she prefer Janette?

Anyway, this Janette child was born in a suburb in Sydney called Kingsford. That sounds familiar to me. I'm going to visit Google Maps.

Oh, duh. I now know why Kingsford sounds familiar. The airport ! And the airplane guy. Charles Kingsford-Smith. That's where I heard the name before. I don't think I've actually ever heard of the suburb itself.

Anyway, it's way down below the CBD. It's south of Centennial park and west of Coogee. I'm just naming the places on the map I recognize--trying to get myself geographically oriented/organized.

Lord Wiki says that Kingsford was a working class neighborhood--at least in those days.

The family later moved to Vaucluse. That sounds familiar to me too. I gotta go and look at Google Maps again. All right. It's in the Eastern Suburbs,near Watson's Bay. I'm wondering if it was one of the ferry stops. That might be how I heard of it.

Well, no. It's not on the ferry schedule--at least as far as I can see. So, I have no idea why it sounds familiar to me. Oh, maybe I saw it on a bus schedule. That could be it! I did get very lost one day around Double Bay, Rose Bay, etc. I might have run into that area. Maybe.

Howard attended Sydney Girls High School. I'm going to go and read about that place now.

Lord Wiki says it's academically selective. That might mean Howard was smart and talented. It could also mean her parents had enough money to impress the school. Her father was a railway engineer. Do they make lots of money? It's interesting that they started out in a working class neighborhood and then moved to Vaucluse. I just peaked over at Lord Wiki's info about that neighborhood, and he said it's very affluent. Did the family do a social class jump?

Anyway, back to the school. It's located in Moore Park--near Fox Studios and all that.

I'm going to look at the school's website and see if there's anything exciting. The school's location used to be the Sydney zoo. Now, that's a fun history.

Here's something interesting. The school does not list Howard as one of the distinguished alumni....unless I'm missing something. I looked under both Howard and Parker. But she's not there. Why is that? I sense a touch of scandal. Or maybe they just forgot to put her on the list.

OR....maybe Lord Wiki is wrong and she didn't even attend that school.

Howard met her hubby at a liberal party function. They were married in 1971. She was 26. That's how old I was when I got married. We have something in common!

Lord Wiki says Howard kept a low profile while her husband was Prime Minister I'm not sure what that means exactly. I guess maybe she didn't like the spotlight? There was some controversy in 1999--allegations about something concerning an appointment to the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) board.

I'm trying to find more information about this and am not having much luck. I'm thinking perhaps Lord Wiki got his dates wrong or something. Oh well, maybe I'll run into the information later.

Lord Wiki says Howard was diagnosed with Cervical cancer in 1996, but didn't reveal the type of cancer she had until 2006. I wonder why she kept it a secret.

This woman is quite a mystery. Now I'm intrigued.

Well, here's something I know. She was a teacher. I wonder what age she taught. And where did she teach?

I have a feeling this blog entry is going to provide more questions than answers.

I just found a photo of Howard on the White House website. She looks extremely happy to be talking to our George W. Bush. Yikes. It seems she really likes the guy.

I'm now going to read an article in the Herald Sun from 2007. I guess this was close to the election time. It talks about the public's viewpoint of Howard. They say one popular view of her is that she's a politics-obsessed woman pulling her husband's strings and urging him on and up. That sounds a bit like Lady Macbeth.

The newspaper labels her as one of the toughest women in Australia to interview. Wow.

The article makes her sound like a pretty okay woman--someone I could go along with even though I strongly disagree with her political views. She seems private, and wants to keep out of the public eye. Yet, she really loves her children.

Oh and she's a reader! She likes science fiction and historical mysteries. My heart is warming to this woman a bit.

According to this article, a politician named Peter Costello is not too pleased with Howard. I'm not sure I'm understanding this correctly, but it seems Costello wanted to be the one running for the Liberals. He wanted Howard to step down, but Mrs. Howard encouraged her husband to stay in the race. It reminds me a bit of the Hayden/Hawke stuff that I read about in the Hawke Ascendancy. Hayden was going to be the labor candidate, but the party encouraged him to step down, saying he was going to make the party lose. And that's when Hawke took his place. It seems like similar situations. What would have happened if Howard had stepped down? Would Australia have Costello as prime minister instead of Rudd?

Back to the cancer thing. What's interesting is that although Howard had cervical cancer, the cancer she's vocal/active in is breast cancer. I wonder why that is.

Here. This ABC transcript might be interesting. It's an interview with the family. Maybe it will reveal something shocking and interesting. The interview was done in 2001.

Mrs. Howard says in the interview: Crises can drive you apart or they can bring you together. You know, that's the important thing, that you don't close down that talking to each other, and I guess that's what we did. We always did talk, analyze, discuss everything under the sun, and so this became something else.

I agree with this. I feel my own relationships start to break down when there is a break in communication--when I'm given a direct or a subtle message that certain subjects are not allowed into conversation. I'm not saying that at some point we all have our limits. We all have that point where we need to politely say Okay, this has gone on enough. We need to stop talking about it. We're just going to keep fighting. But I think there should be lulls in the conversation, not outright rules against a subject being brought up.

When conversations becomes limited by these spoken or unspoken rules, I feel the relationships become strained and superficial. They lose their substance.

Howard's niece talks about her aunt: She's a very clever person and she's exceptionally well-read. Um, probably one of the most well-read people I know. She was the head of an English department at a school. You know, she had a really good career.

It seems Peter Costello is not Janette Howard's only enemy. Gough Whitlam's wife Margaret doesn't seem too fond of her either. According to this article, Whitlam thinks Howard is lacking a sense of humor, isn't involved with the community enough, and shouldn't be holding her husband's hand in public.

I can't believe this, but I actually find myself siding with a Howard over a Whitlam. How the hell can that be? But one of my pet peeves is when someone accuses someone else of not having a sense of humor. We all have a sense of humor--every single human being. It's just sometimes our sense of humor doesn't match another person's sense of humor. What's funny to one person might be stupid or offensive to another. I think it's sweet to hold your husband's hand after thirty years of marriage. I think it's fine not to be visually active in the community. I think it's good to do SOMETHING charitable, but I don't think that has to include attending charity luncheons and having your names on various charity boards.

It does seem Mrs. Howard has her share of critics. Another one to add to the list is Sydney Morning Herald journalist Alan Ramsey. I'm reading one of his articles (editorial?) right now.

Here's something quite fascinating. One of Howard's son's (Richard) worked for the Bush-Cheney campaign of 2004. So, there really is a strong Howard-Bush connection.

Ramsey believes it is Mrs. Howard's fault that the family chose to live in Sydney rather than Canberra. Apparently, this cost the taxpayers mucho amounts of money.

Okay, onto an article in the Canberra Times. This one is three pages long. Maybe it will have some good information.

The article talks about how Howard was less about doing community work in the public and more about doing political work in private. She's like the Lady Macbeth that whispers in her husband's ear--pushing him to further and continue his political career.

As far as I know, the Howards haven't directly murdered anyone though.

So...really. Who is this Janette Howard? Is she a sweet shy bookworm who loves her family, but not the limelight? Does she care about the community, and those less fortunate than herself, in her own quiet way? OR is she a quiet manipulative power hungry bitch who wants to personally benefit from her husband's position of power without giving much back to the community?

I don't know.

Maybe she's a little bit of both.

I do have some sympathy for her. I can imagine myself if Tim sprouted some kind of political career. I wouldn't be happy having to attend political parties, and I wouldn't want to constantly have to dress up for charity balls. But I think since I felt this way, I wouldn't push him to further his career. I think I'd support him and say hey, I'm not going to stand in your way. But I'd also remind him that his wife is a homebody and he will probably be attending a lot of events alone.

In numerology, Janette Howard is a 9. The humanitarian. Yet, it seems on the surface she doesn't do much for charity. Is this an accurate picture? Does she not care? Or does she keep her charitable activities private? And besides cancer, what does she care about]? . Does she have a soft spot for the homeless? Starving children? Animals?

And how much time do you have to give to charity before Margaret Whitlam accepts you? Did Howard really not do enough for the community, or is Whitlam just mad because Howard didn't laugh at her joke?

Really. I want to end this. I've been working on this for hours. But I feel I'm left with more questions than answers.

Maybe I'll look at some blogs. That might give me a little insight.

This blog (which I actually read on a regular basis) says: One of the key participants in the Howard story who would not talk for the cameras was Janette Howard. I wonder what her one word is to describe little Johnny. Obedient? I think he's talking about the recent documentary.

Ah, I think I found a treasure. It's not a blog exactly, but I found it via a blog. It's a very recent editorial written by Susan Mitchell. Mitchell is the author of a recent biographical book that looked at Howard along with Sonia McMahon and Tammy Fraser. She also wrote the biography of Margaret Whitlam. I don't think Mitchell loves Janette Howard that much. She says Howard refused to talk to her for the book. She wasn't a cooperative subject, I guess.

Mitchell says that Howard's staff called Janette Hyacinth Bucket behind her back. I've never heard that name. Is it an Australian thing? Jane Austen? Shakespeare? Ah, now I know. It's a reference to a character in a British sitcom. I'm embarrassed to admit that I don't know much about British television.

Mitchell says Howard called her husband ten or so times a day to give him political advice. Wow. Is that a devoted wife, or a pest? If it wasn't about political advice, I'd probably find it a bit romantic.

I guess the general sense I'm getting here (from Mitchell and others) is that the problem with Janette Howard is not that she was quiet, but that she was quiet and very politically involved. There's something a bit sneaky about the whole thing. Maybe it would be different if she were quiet and kept to herself, but didn't push her ideas on her husband. She sounds like a puppeteer. Is she like what my husband says about Dick Cheney--pulling the strings and running the country without most of us realizing it?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I'll see his movie....someday.

I have decided to research a TIMELY subject.

Baz Luhrmann.

His movie Australia is coming out soon. Or maybe it already did come out. Either way....I'm betting by the time I post this, it will be out. Maybe some of you have already seen it. I don't go to movies much, so I probably won't see it until it comes out on DVD.

Anyway, instead of watching the grand movie, I shall look into the life of Baz Luhrmann.

I don't know much about him yet, except that he's Australian, and that he's responsible for the modernized Romeo and Juliet and Moulin Rouge.

I shall start with Lord Wiki.

No, maybe I'll start with IMDb. They were my best friends before Lord Wiki came along. Remember back in the old days--when you saw a familiar looking actor in a movie and couldn't rush to the computer to find out where you had seen him before?

Luhrmann did Strictly Ballroom. I didn't know that! I'm not sure if I've seen that movie. I did a semester of film school and some film classes outside of that. I have vague memories of maybe seeing the movie. I guess it didn't leave that much of an impression on me, if I did.

It seems before Luhrmann did his whole movie writer/director/producer thing, he did some acting. This was in the 1980's. He played Jerry Percival in a show called A Country Practice. It was a soap opera. The show was on for twelve years and Luhrmann was only in six episodes. Around this time, he was also in a movie with Judy Davis called Winter of our Dreams. That sounds kind of familiar to me. I like the title, although I probably would like any title that contained the word dreams.

I wonder if my dreams have seasons? I don't think so. And I don't think I have much winter. I think I have more summer. There seems to be a lot of swimming pools in my dream. Although last night I dreamed people were swimming in cold water. Maybe they were swimming in winter!

While I'm going off on tangents about my dreams, let's do more spirituality and occult stuff.

Numerology time.

Luhrmann was born in New South Wales on 17 September 1962. Interesting....IMDb writes the date the Aussie way. Is it an Australian website? Do they write all the birth dates like that? Or do they just do that for Australian people?

I just looked up an American. They wrote his birthday the same way.


Back to numerology....

Luhrmann was conceived around Christmas time! How cute.

He is a Virgo. Is it my imagination or have I been coming across a lot of Virgos? I know this is at least my second Virgo I've examined.

His numerology number is 8.

8 is all about wealth. Money. This numerology website describes the 8 as:

Your talent lies not with the bookkeeping or petty management, but with the greater vision, it's purpose, and long range goals. You are a visionary and a bit reckless. You possess the ability to inspire people to join you in your quest, but often they are incapable of seeing what you see. Therefore, those around you need your continual guidance, inspiration, and encouragement. You must prod them into action and direct them along the lines of your vision. You attract financial success more than any other Life Path, but effort is required.

According to the birthday website, 8 are not compatible with my number (7's). Before I dismiss any chances of me becoming best friends with Luhrmann; I must remember that my mom is a seven and my dad is an eight. They've been happily married for thirty-six years. Sometimes you CAN defy numerology.

In Chinese astrology, Luhrmann is a tiger.

His Native American sign is a bear.

Someone else I researched was a bear. Who was that? My mind is so fuzzy right now.

Luhrmann is 46 years old. And he's 554 MONTHS old.

The population of Australia the year Luhrmann was born was close to 11 million.

I'm back to IMDb now. Luhrmann grew up in rural Australia. They don't say exactly where. Mysterious. It seems his father owned a movie theater and this is what introduced the young Luhrmann to the world of film. Besides doing the movie theater thing, his parents also did ballroom dancing. It seems he was highly influenced by the activities of his parents.

Luhrmann invented his own style of filmmaking. It's called Red Curtain. I have no idea what that is. I'll have to find out more about that. Later.

In the trivia section of IMDb, it says Lurmann's family owned a gas station and a farm. It doesn't mention a movie theater. Maybe they didn't own a movie theater. Maybe they meant his father's movie theater... in terms of the movie theater where his father went to see movies.

I'm confused.

Luhrmann directed the word's most expensive commercial in 2004. It was for Chanel No 5 and starred Nicole Kidman (why am I not surprised?)

I'm very glad that blogger frequently saves what you're writing without your permission or not, because I just accidentally closed this window. I didn't lose anything! Oh and this happens to me with almost every post....every single day.

I'm trying to see if any commercials have since beat Luhrmann's record. It seems Guinness did in 2007. I'm not sure if there has been anything after that.

I'm going to go and talk to Lord Wiki now. He says Baz is not the guy's birthname. He was born as Mark Anthony Lurhman. I guess Baz sounds cooler.

All right Lord Wiki, clears up the questions I had about Luhrmann's childhood. His father DID own a movie theater--a movie theater and a petrol station. Wow. Impressive.

He lived in a place called Heron's Creek. I'm guessing that wasn't far from Sydney because he attended Sydney Grammar School at some point. Or maybe they eventually moved to Sydney.

I just looked at a map. It's certainly NOT near Sydney. It's way up north, near Port Macquarie.

He attended St. Augustines College. Since I'm American and college means university to us, I thought this was where he did his uni work. But it seems this is more equivalent to our high schools. Aussie Education/schools is one thing I'm way behind on in learning. Maybe because we homeschool. I know Australians say stuff like year ten and year eleven rather than eleventh grade, twelfth grade, etc. That's about all I know.

The school though is in Brookvale. Is that closer to Port Macquarie or Sydney? I'm trying to figure out how this guy made his way to Sydney?

It's closer to Sydney. It looks like it's near Manly.

So, it seems sometime during his teen years, the family moved to Sydney. Why? And what happened to the movie theater and petrol station?

Did Luhrmann go to college/Uni? Lord Wiki doesn't mention anything. Maybe he didn't. Then he'll be a good example of a successful person who never formally furthered his education. I'm not a big believer in the idea that everyone has to attend college. If you want to be a doctor--yeah. Good idea. But for a filmmaker? I think it's just as good to self educate. Instead of paying for an expensive degree, better to just use that money to buy a good camera.

Luhrmann married the production designer of his films. How sweet. How romantic. Her name's Catherine Martin.

Here's some fun Academy Award stuff. I think I actually remember this! He was nominated for best director in the Director's Guild Awards and Golden Globes. But he was snubbed by the Academy. The movie itself was nominated, though. Whoopie Goldberg (who I guess was the host that year) joked I guess it just directed itself.

Lord Wiki has some information about Luhrmann's Red Curtain filmmaking stuff. He says each of the films (Strictly Ballroom, Romeo and Juliet, and Strictly Ballroom) begin in a vaudeville theater. The films are upbeat in the beginning and then change to a more somber mood. Basically, what I'm getting is that it's all very theatrical. Maybe exaggerated.

Australia is not going to use this style. At least, I don't think so. It seems Luhrmann did the Red Curtain thing as a trilogy, and now he's going to be doing historical films for awhile.

Luhrmann was working on a film about Alexander the Great. Sadly, his grand plans were thwarted by Oliver Stone who also made a film on Alexander the Great. I guess Luhrmann realized the market didn't need to be saturated with that subject.

Guess who was going to star in Alexander? Nicole Kidman. He really likes her, I suppose.

Lord Wiki says Bollywood has been an influence on Luhrmann's films. I can understand that. His films have that Bollywood feel. Although honestly, I haven't really seen any Bollywood films. I'm kind of talking out of my butt here. I did have a Bollywood soundtrack CD, though. And I've heard enough about Bollywood to get a sort of aura about the whole thing.

Here's some interesting political stuff. Luhrmann worked on Paul Keatings political campaign. And he was asked by Kevin Rudd to make tourist ads promoting Australia.

I definitely have to find out more about all of that.

This Romeo and Juliet website says that Luhrmann actually orchestrated Keatings campaign. Wow. Other websites say he was an adviser. I wonder how big of a part he played in all of it.

You know what I'm going to do? I'm going to ask Lord Wiki about Paul Keating. If Luhrmann had a big role in the election campaign, I'll bet he'll be mentioned in Keating's section. If he played a smaller part, his involvement will probably be mentioned only in his own little Lord Wiki corner.

Well, I'm not seeing him mentioned. Lord Wiki doesn't know everything though. So, who knows......

Now I'll go look up the tourist ad thing. Wow. Here it is on YouTube. I have to say I'm impressed. I don't think I've ever seen such a lovely tourism ad. I like this much better than the Nicole Kidman perfume ad.

I DID wonder if it would be somewhat offensive to Indigenous Australians. In the ad, a stressed out white person is visited in her sleep by an Aboriginal child. The child tells this white woman to come to Australia. She needs to go walkabout. The ad appeals to me because at times I feel some spiritual entity has whispered to me. Go to Australia. Be obsessed with Australia. Make a blog about Australia. Buy Vegemite and Tim Tams. I mean not a literal whisper. I just mean I feel sometimes spiritually pulled--like a damn puppet or something.

I did wonder if there would be controversy about all this. White people being spiritually called by Indigenous Australians. It's all a bit Marlo Morgan.

Anyway, yes there was some controversy. This article has a bit about that. It seems the controversy is that some Indigenous Australians believe the ad promotes tourists visiting sacred sites where they should not intrude. Defenders of the ad say that the ads do not actually make specific reference to any place. So, it's not like an average annoying American tourist will watch the ad and say Let's go to that specific place. They'll probably just go to Sydney and Uluru where they'll be suffocated by other tourists and cameras. Then they'll say. This was definitely not like the commercial!

I do wonder how this ad and the movie Australia will effect tourism. I'm betting there will be some type of increase in visitors.

I started doing more googling and now see that the movie has come out. Or at least the critics are having their say. It seems the general consensus is the movie is good but not great. That makes me feel more justified in waiting for it to come on DVD. I do feel some pressure to see that movie. I have a feeling for the next few weeks, everyone and their uncle is going to ask me. So, did you see Australia yet?

Oprah liked the movie. She endorses it. I'm not a big fan of Oprah because she also endorsed that Dr. Phil guy who was incredibly rude about Co-sleeping.

She did endorse Obama, though, and I like him.

That's weird. Entertainment Weekly hasn't reviewed the movie yet. At least it's not up on their website. Maybe it hasn't been released to American critics yet? Oh yeah. But Duh. How did Oprah see it then? Maybe Entertainment Weekly is snubbing the movie!

Although some Indigenous Australians were not happy with the Luhrmann tourism commercial, some were very pleased with the Australia movie. Apparently it deals with the subject of the stolen generation. They also employed a lot of indigenous people as actors/extras.

Anyway, I'm not to 0eager to see Luhrmann's movie, but I am eager to hear other people's opinions about it. I'll look forward to seeing if anyone writes about it on their blog.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Wife of Kevin Rudd

I started thinking that maybe I'd do my next biographical post on Kevin Rudd. Even though I'm on his email list, I really don't know that much about him besides the fact that he's from Queensland, has a taste for earwax, and would go gay for his wife.

But then I started thinking maybe I'd write about his wife instead. I don't know. Maybe I'm more in the mood to write about women right now. Or maybe it's that I have seen what it's like for women who are married to men with celebrity and power. I think they get both pushed into the limelight and pushed into the background. They get attention for the wrong reasons, and then they also get ignored.

Who is the wife of Kevin Rudd? I don't even know her name. I'm wondering what it is. I'm also wondering if she has a title like the wives of American leaders have. First Lady. In a way, that sounds so yucky and sexist. What would we call the husband of a female president?  First man? It sounds wrong to me. It sounds a bit archaic.

Anyway, I am now going to begin my little learning adventure.

Hello, Lord Wiki.

Kevin Rudd's wife is Therese Rein. Lord Wiki has put all these accents on her name. I trust that they're supposed to be there, but I have no idea how to type those in, so I'm just going to have to have her name without the accents. Sorry.

Rein was born in Adelaide on the 17th of July in 1958.

Fun birthday website time!

Rein was born on a Thursday. I love Thursdays. Friends and Seinfeld were on Thursday. Lost was on Thursday. Charmed (my favorite show) was on Thursday; but then it was demoted to Sunday.

Rein is a Cancer. Tim is a Cancer too. Cancers are known to be loving but moody.

Her numerology number is 11. 11 is a master number. It's big and important.

This astrology website says this about 11's: This is the giver. Number Eleven is an innovator with an unmistakable streak of humanitarianism.

The birthdate website says 11's are least compatible with 1's, 5's, and 7's. I'm a seven and Tim's a one. If we invited Rein over for dinner, there's a chance things might not go so well.

In Chinese astrology, Rein is a dog

Her Native American Zodiac sign is a woodpecker.

In the year Rein was born (1958) Australia had only about ten million people. The population has about doubled since then. Wow.

Back to Lord Wiki.....

Rein was the founder of an employment agency called Ingeus. Lord Wiki says she's the first wife of an Australian Prime Minister to keep on working while her husband is in office.

Here is the website for Ingenus. It sounds very impressive and has gone international (France UK, and Germany) It seems Rein has sold her part of the company though...if I'm reading this right. The website says: In May 2007, Ingeus’ Managing Director, Thérèse Rein, announced the sale of the Australian operating companies of the Ingeus Group comprising WorkDirections Australia, Your Employment Solutions and Clements (Ingeus’ recruitment agency) for personal reasons. This sale is now complete.

This page gives the company's history. It started in 1989 as a rehabilitation service--helping injured people get back to work. Then I guess they got into employment services. By 2000, they had thirty offices in Australia and in 2002, they started branching out to other countries.

Rein's father suffered spinal injuries in a plane crash and this is what inspired Rein to help injured people find work.

Although Rein was born in Adelaide, apparently she later moved to Melbourne. Lord Wiki says she attended Firbank Grammar School.

For College/Uni, Rein went to the Australian National University in Canberra. It's here that she met her hubby!

Lord Wiki says that ANU is consistently rated as the best university in Australia.

Marcia Langton, one of the stars of The First Australians went there! Anyone else? Well, apparently a convicted murderer named Anu Singh went there as well. Oh, and Peter Garrett.

Rein met Rudd at a meeting of the Australian Student Christian Movement. It sounds like an awesome group. I hate to say it but I'm a little bit prejudice. When I hear the word Christian, I automatically think of people in California and the evil passing of Proposition 8. But this Christian group sounds totally wonderful to me. They are progressive and on the left. Lord Wiki says they are involved with women and gay/lesbian liberation. They also fight against racism and defend the rights of Indigenous people.

I really need to open my mind and remember that there ARE Christian people like this. There ARE Christian people who follow the ideals of Jesus. When I see the word Christian I'm going to try to picture these people instead of the demonic Fred Phelps.

I'm happy to hear that Rudd and his wife were part of this group! It makes me love them even more. Although wouldn't it be funny if they weren't really a part of the group--that they were both from a very conservative Christian group and were there as spies?

Rudd and Rein got married in 1981. That means Rein was twenty-three when she got married. My parents were seventeen and eighteen when they got married. I was twenty-six.

Lord Wiki says there was some controversy regarding Rein's company. Apparently it involved underpaid workers. Rein had been overseas when it happened and her hubby defended her. He said it was an honest mistake. I'm not sure who to believe here. I guess I'll try to have faith in my Prime Minister. Oh crap! I'm becoming delusional again. Sorry! Sorry! Sorry!

Rein started the Rein Foundation in 2007. This was to help people start small businesses. But then she shut it down, because there were worries that there'd be a conflict of interest. It has to do with the small business people asking for money from the government. Something like that.

See, I really think it would be hard to be a Prime Minister's wife. All this conflict of interest stuff. People are watching your every move......

Lord Wiki says Rein is a patron of The Indigenous Literacy Project. I'm not sure what Patron means. I guess it's someone who donates money?

She's also involved with Common Ground( an organization that fights homelessness), the Australian National Portrait Gallery, and the Paralympics.

I just looked at the Australian National Portrait Gallery website. Wow. That thing could keep me happily busy for hours.

I'm now going to look at some articles about Rein.

This one, from the Courier Mail, was written before Rudd became Prime Minister.

Rudd and Rein have a clock that chimes the hour. At their lake house, my parents have a clock that makes a different bird sound every hour. I'm not sure if it still works or not. It's one of those things you begin to not notice--well, until you have a guest and they get all jumpy. What is that? What is that?

Rein and Rudd drink lots of tea. I think it's cool that Australia is more of a tea country than a coffee country. I say this because I don't like coffee.

The article says, He has a wry sense of self-deprecating humour and the couple both laugh frequently and finish each other's jokes. I like those kinds of people.

I don't know if I'm too happy about this. The interview was done on their wedding anniversary. That doesn't sound that romantic to me. I wonder if Rein was okay with this, or was she secretly pissed off? I guess it would depend on the nature of their relationship--whether their was mutual support in terms of career and aspirations. On that day, Rudd also announced his bid for the election. Did it have to be done on that day? Was it something that couldn't be helped? Or was Rudd an insensitive husband who put his career before is marriage?

If he was the latter, did Rein protest this, or did she let her anger stew?

The article says he did buy her twenty-six roses. I personally hate store-bought flowers, and the idea of someone buying them as a kiss my ass gesture totally pisses me off. But maybe she loves roses, and if she loves them; then that's a good anniversary gift.

Rein and Rudd have a daughter, two sons, a cat, and a dog. They held a family meeting to discuss whether Rudd should run for Prime Minister or not. What if one of the kids had said no?  Would their parents have listened?

Oh! Rudd and Rein spent time in Sweden. Rudd was a diplomat there. That's good. Sweden has some of the best family life policies. Maybe Rudd picked up some good ideas from there. He was also a diplomat in China and studied the Chinese language. Cool. I wonder how much Chinese he can speak?

Okay. I just talked to Lord Wiki. Rudd was totally into China. He majored in Chinese Language and Chinese History.

I'm feeling a little bit emotional here. Rudd is like totally part of my tribe--people who get obsessed with a country or culture they don't belong to.

I love you, Kevin Rudd....earwax and all.

Back to the article: It says they go to church every morning and then go to a bookstore and drink coffee. Ah, so I guess they do tea AND coffee. All right. Well, that's fine. Anyway, I like that combination of religion and reading. It sounds like a nice Sunday. Personally, I'd prefer skipping the Church part, sleeping in, and then doing the bookstore. But Rudd and Rein are Christian and like church stuff. I respect their dedication. I hope they're still able to find time to do stuff like that on their Sundays.

Rein says she likes the campaigning. She likes meeting people--shaking hands and all that. In that respect, we're not alike. I guess that's our numerology stuff in opposition. She likes to go out and change the world. I like to sit back and learn about the people who are changing the world.

Okay. Now I'm moving onto another article. This one's also from the Courier Mail but was written last April. Last April....that's when I had my total Facebook addiction.

The article(well, editorial actually) talks about how Australia is obsessed with superficial stuff. They are so unlike Americans. We care only about the REAL issues. Uh, just ignore the fact that we have a whole television station dedicated to style and fashion.

People called the fashion police on Rein. I am NOT a fan of the fashion police. The fashion police are best mates with the lose-ten-pounds-in-ten-days people. Poo on them. Poo on all of them.

The editorial says: Even when a strong, capable woman is placed in the spotlight, the emphasis is on how she looks, not who she is or what she's achieved. What is this stressing of style over substance teaching young men and women about valued qualities in people – particularly females?

I hate all that.

One of my fantasies is to be nominated for an Academy Award. I'm on the red carpet and Joan Rivers asks me where I got my outfit. I say Goodwill. Oh and these earrings. They're fake. I got them when I was sixteen at Target. Okay?

JK Rowling has an awesome essay on her official website about the preoccupation with weight--goes along well with the editorial on Rein's fashion issues. If you haven't read this before, I HIGHLY recommend it. It had a large influence on my own eating disorder recovery.

I'm looking at blogs now to see what kind of crap I can find. Here's something. They say in this blog: Surely every woman has an innate sense of fashion somewhere in her bones. But not this lady. Australia deserves better. She doesn't have to be a fashion plate but she should be far better than this rumpled, daggy frump. Help her someone ... please.

I LIKE rumpled daggy frumps. Although honestly, I'm not sure what daggy is. Okay, I looked it up. Yes! I like daggy people!

This other blog says: What really cheeses me off about Therese Rein is that she has millions and she dresses like my primary school scripture teacher. Therese, get a personal trainer, a wardrobe stylist and a subscription to Vogue or Marie Claire for chrissake!

Yes! Exactly. Rein needs to stop helping people who are unemployed, disabled, and/or homeless! How dare she waste her time on these issues instead of reading Fashion Magazines!

Well, that's about it.

Before I go though....

I found the answer to one of my initial questions. It seems Australia does not have an archaic title for the spouse of the country's leader. Lord Wiki just calls her the spouse of the Prime Minister. That works for me.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Post

These are the things that I'm thankful for. Yeah, I have to post them here on Thanksgiving cause it seems unlikely I'm ever going to win an Academy Award or anything.

1. I'm thankful for my son Jack. I've never loved anyone as much as I love him. He's the best thing that has ever happened to me. He's adorable, brilliant, so sweet, and hilarious. I love a LOT of people, but none of that love can compare to the love I feel for my child.

2. I'm thankful for my husband. We've had some very rough times, but I think/hope things might be getting better for us.

3. I'm thankful for my relatives--my parents, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, and in-laws. They drive me nuts (probably literally) sometimes. But I often have SO much fun with them. They've given me so much, and I'll always love them.

4. I'm thankful that my baby sister is pregnant!!!!!!

5. I'm thankful that Obama is going to be our new president. Okay, confession here. I'm writing this two days before the election. I'm kinda making some assumptions. If something goes wrong, I guess I'll delete this and put something in its place.

6 . I'm thankful for Powell Books and all the Australian books I was able to buy!

7. I'm thankful we were able to visit Australia last December and I'm thankful that we're going back in February. I DO know how lucky we are.

8. I'm thankful that my son has FINALLY become a bookworm.

9. I'm thankful for all the belly laughs this year.

10. I'm thankful for all the new music I many beautiful songs.

11. I'm thankful that I've become closer to our homeschooling friends in Texas. And I'm thankful to those few people in my life I didn't meet through the Internet ; ) Although now that I think of it, I actually did meet my Texas friend via the Internet. Okay, but I actually do have some friends that I met the old-fashion way.

12. I'm thankful for my spirituality.

13. I'm thankful for all the crazy fun dreams I have each night.

14. I'm thankful to be ALIVE (long story there. Best not to ask)

15. I'm thankful for my cuddly cats, the cute lizards outside, and all the other creatures I see on a regular basis.

16. I'm thankful that for the most part this has been a healthy year for my family. I hope it stays that way.

17. I'm thankful that I learned SO much this year. I'm feeling so damn educated.

18. I'm thankful to my Livejournal friends--especially the ones who followed me to Facebook and then to Blogger. I'm sorry I kept disappearing. Thanks for sticking with me.

19. I'm thankful to the people who I met on Facebook--especially Suzanne who became the best friend I've been longing for.

20. I'm thankful towards those people who are no longer my friends. Some of them merely drifted out of my life and some vanished with quite the bang. Although we're not friends right now, I still have fond memories of some of our time together. I hold you in my thoughts and pray that one day our hearts will be reunited.

21. I'm thankful to all the people I'm meeting through this blog. I know I haven't known you guys long, but I already find myself loving all of you.

22. I'm thankful for this blog. It's not just a hobby for me. In some ways, I think it saved me from a lot of emotional turmoil. Well, no. I've had a TON of emotional turmoil this year, but I think this blog saved me from losing my mind. It kept me happy when I could have fallen into deep despair. AND..... At a time that I was feeling lost and homesick for a country that wasn't even my own--it gave me a sense of purpose. It gave me hope.

And now I shall list the things I am NOT thankful for.

I'm joking....although that WOULD be fun.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Well, she's not nude, but.....

I'm really at a loss here. I woke up in the morning not knowing what to research. My mind is a bit stressed and blank.

I know there are tons of Australian things that I could do research on, but nothing is calling out to me at the moment.

Well, that's not exactly true. I have Rachel Carpani on my mind. We don't even watch McLeod's Daughters anymore. Jack no longer has a crush on her. But she shows up on my Statcounter keyword quite often. People come to my blog to see her nude. I'll have to disappoint them there, but I thought maybe I can use her as my research subject.

I'm not sure if I feel okay doing this. I'm not really into celebrity gossip. Well, I shouldn't say that. I'm probably attracted to it in the same sick way that most people are attracted to it. But I do try to avoid the whole thing.

Yet here I am writing a post. Maybe I can find interesting stuff that doesn't quite qualify as gossip.

Let's see.

Rachel Carpani was born on August 24, 1980. She's young. Or at least that seems young to me. I think this is because when I was a camp counselor at the Cystic Fibrosis camp, the kids in my cabin were born around 1980-1982. So when I see that people are born around that time, I think of children. Also, my sister was born in 1977. I still see her as my LITTLE sister so anyone born after that, in my eyes, is super young.

I think also I'm very immature and I feel younger than I am. I'm almost 36, but I often feel like I'm still twelve. I see these actresses and I feel they are my age...or even older. Then I look at their birth date and am shocked to find that they are younger than me. It's a relief sometimes to find actresses that are my age or older.

Anyway.....I'm going to look at the fun birthday site.

Carpani is a Virgo just like my mom. Her numerology number is 5.

5 is all about freedom.

I think that's an interesting combination. I think of Virgos as being critical and a bit serious. To me, they'd fit better as a 4 in numerology.

The website says the number she's most compatible with is 1, 5, and 7. I'm a 7. Maybe we can be friends! Then she can let me borrow a nude photo of her and my blog can be REALLY popular.

Her Chinese Astrology thing is the monkey. I love monkeys--although I love humans and the other apes much more.

Her Native American Zodiac sign is the bear. I don't like bears. The friendship is OFF!

She shares a birthday with Marlee Matlin. I'm related to Matlin in a really complicated and weird step-family way. I forgot how it goes. I think it's something like her grandmother was my grandmother's stepmom. Oh, I don't know. I probably have it all wrong. And most Chicago Jews are probably connected in some way or another, so I'm sure the connection isn't that special.

Imdb says Carpani is 5 foot 8. I guess I should translate that into Australian. Here we go. This website says she's 173 centimeters. That's pretty tall. I bet she can ride on all the rides at Disney World and Luna Park.

Carpani grew up in a Sydney place called Dural. I've never heard of it before so I'm going to look it up.

Looking at Google Maps now......

Dural looks fairly far from the Sydney CBD. It's far up north and then a little to the West. It seems almost directly north from Parramatta.

I feel so much better going back to geography. I feel safe and comfortable here. In some ways, geography has become my new security blanket.

Lord Wiki says Dural is semi-rural. I'm not sure exactly what that means, but it sounds lovely. I think it might be great to live some place like that. You're near one of the best cities in the world (to me, it is THE best, but I'm trying to be politically correct here) but yet you're out living in nature.

The name Dural comes from the Aboriginal word Dooral-Dooral. This means smoking hollow tree. Well, that sounds interesting.

I should probably go back to Carpani.

She was in a 2005 movie called Hating Alison Ashley. Have any of you seen that movie? It's based on a book by Robin Klein. I'm not sure I've heard of Klein yet. Maybe? I should look out for her books. I wonder if our library has any of them. Actually, I'm going to go right now and see if Powells has any.

Rachel Carpani has an Italian father. Let's do research on Italy! No, I'm joking. Although I've heard it's a very lovely country. My parents were just there.

This website says Carpani is obsessively clean, but not so neat. Wow. That's going to totally scramble my brain today. What does that mean? I guess I can sort of understand. Maybe?

No, not really.

Maybe they mean neat as in cool. Like That's so neat! If they mean the other neat, I think you have to tidy up first before you clean. You have to pick up the toys off the floor before the floor gets vacuumed. Otherwise, you're going to miss a lot of floor space. And if you miss floor space, you're not being obsessively clean.

Okay. I'm going to end here. I'm bored. I have a feeling you guys are bored too. I apologize to all of us. Oh, and I say this without any intent of offense towards Rachel Carpani and her fans.

P.S-I researched and wrote that post several days ago. Since then, Jack has suddenly found his love for McLeod's Daughters again. The other day he watched the theme song on YouTube about twenty times. And he's sending me emails pretending to be Jodi Fountain.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tracking Robyn Davidson

I just finished reading Tracks by Robyn Davidson. It's one of my favorite kinds of books, because it has two of my favorite keywords: survival and solitary. Although aspects of her story are scary and intimidating, I do feel this idea of relief in terms of being away from society. I felt more sympathy for her when she was bombarded with obnoxious camera-wielding tourists than when she talked about having to wipe her butt without toilet paper.

I do like toilet papers and toilets. I won't try to fool anyone there. But I hate other aspects of "civil society". I hate wearing uncomfortable clothes because they might make me look more slim. I hate having to fake being impressed as someone shows me their new diamond bracelet. I hate, as Davidson describes.....parties where one discusses wittily work and career, or gatherings of interesting people who are all suspicious, wary and terrified of not being 'interesting' after all.

If it's a choice between being at a cocktail party with people discussing fashion and the latest celebrity diets, or being naked in a desert farting loudly and freely....I think I'll take the latter.

I know. I know. I'm not dumb. I'd soon get hot and I'd probably get lonely. I'd soon be wishing for a cocktail party--if only to swipe a sweet maraschino cherry from the bar.

Before reading the book, I had the idea that if I could someday manage to do something wild and adventurous, I'd be more okay with myself. I'd be happier. I'd have more confidence in myself. I would no longer have this low self-esteem. But Davidson made me question all that. Would I end up feeling worse? Would the culture shock of being back in my original world be too much for me? Now I can tolerate society. I can even sometimes enjoy it. But what if I came home from the wilderness? Would I quickly adjust and be the old me again? Or would I long too much to go back--away from diamond rings and artificial flavoring?

I don't know.

One thing I didn't like about Davidson's book was that she didn't tell me enough about the person she was before she went on the adventure. I felt left out in the cold in that regards. I feel a little guilty saying that because she talks so much about the invasion of privacy. Yet, she did write a book about her experience. So, she's not exactly private.

I want to know more about her so I'm going to do some quick googling.

Hello, Lord Wiki!

He says Davidson was born on September 6, 1950. A Virgo.

One of my favorite Livejournal friends had an awesome link in her blog. I read it this morning, followed the link, and I'm forever changed.

It has all kinds of fun facts about your birthday.

Let's look at Davidson.

She was born on a Wednesday. Her numerology number is 3.

Three is all about being social.

Yet, Davidson seemed to be running from all that.

Her Chinese astrology animal is the tiger.

Her Native American Zodiac sign is the Bear.

When she was born, the population of Australia was about 8 million.

The website provides information only about Australia and the USA. I find that interesting. Maybe the guy who does the website is like me--an American obsessed with Australia. Or maybe he's an Australian obsessed with American. OR maybe the website is psychic and tells you the population of whatever country you live in. But since I'm so obsessed with Australia, the website is extra nice to me and gives me information on two countries! To quote Junie B. Jones: Wowie, wow, wow!

Oh well...crap. I thought this was going to be a rather short entry. But looking at Lord Wiki, it seems doubtful.

Davidson spent time with a group called The Push. The Push has it's whole own Lord Wiki entry and looks absolutely fascinating.

The Push was a left-wing intellectual subculture in Sydney from the 1940's until about the 1970's. I'm looking at the names of the people involved to see which ones I recognize.

1. Germaine Greet
2. Clive James
3. Robert Hughes

Funny. I don't remember Robert Hughes mentioning it in his memoirs. Maybe my eyes were glazing over at that point.

Davidson isn't mentioned in the list. I'm guessing this might mean her involvement wasn't too intense.

The Australian government website has a page about The Push. They say that this group was Anti-authoritarian, anti-elitist, anti-careerist and anti-censorship. They remind me a lot of the Unschoolers we meet at The Rethinking Education Conference.

Back to Davidson. She was born in Queensland and lost her mother when she was eleven. She attended boarding school. Then she moved to Sydney where she joined The Push thing.

After her Outback adventures, she had a three year romance with Salman Rushdie.

A guy named Mick Hanly had written a song about her. The lyrics are beautiful. I like these lines the best: When the emptiness like a potion tends to fray your reason strand by strand
And there's no more need for the mask your wear......

A prominent character in Tracks is the American photographer Rick Smolan. I looked him up and it turns out he's the creator of the Day in the Life book series. I have the Australia one! I got it for a very good price at Half Price Books. He's now married and has two children. He's the CEO of a company called Against All Odds Production. I can't find a website for the company. I find that a bit unusual.

The ABC website has an excerpt from Davidson's recent writing. It fits in incredibly well with the other book I'm reading Guns, Germs and Steel.

She says:

Agriculture set us on a path to the urban then the industrial revolutions, and finally to the wild consumerism of late capitalism. Like previous chapters of the agricultural story, the present one is achieving material wealth, longer life, greater choice - all the benefits that people like me enjoy. But they are available to the few at the expense of the many.

Very well said. I just wish that it was fiction.

She gives some hope though. I love this line as well:

While there can be no literal return to previous modes of living, there might be ways into previous kinds of thinking. Pilgrimages, let's say, to newly imagined territories where, instead of dismissing the traditional as useless to modernity, we might integrate the best of each.


Monday, November 24, 2008

The Girl Who Wished She Was Irish

I had one of my strange dreams last night.

This is how it went.

Tim, Jack, and I are taking a walk.

We're then suddenly in this office building. A man comes by and walks in the same direction as us. He keeps looking at me with a smile on his face. It's not the type of smile that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. There's something untrustworthy about the smile. My guard goes up....way up.

He asks me if I have an agent.

If I had high self-esteem, I'd probably be flattered and excited. Instead, for the most part I'm weary and suspicious.

Somehow I end up in a boardroom with him. 

Tim and Jack are no longer in the picture.

My immediate assumption is that this is an agency for models. There is a small part of me that wishes I actually was model-material and all of this was legit. But I know I don't have the right body for it. There's no way. I'm thinking this is one of those horrible businesses where they sign you up for modeling and you end up a prostitute.

But then the man mentions blogs.

Since when does a blog need an agent?

I still think it's all a scam.

The man takes out a folded piece of paper. He mentions that my blog is about international travel. For the first time, I'm excited. I start to think that maybe this whole thing is legit. Maybe this man read my blog, printed out a page of it, and then recognized me when I came into the office. I start to believe that piece of paper is a print out of a page from my blog--proof that this guy actually knows me and finds me talented.

He hands it to me. I unfold the paper and find that it's no more authentic than a scam letter from a prince in Nigeria. There's absolutely no indication that these people have actually read my blog. It seems it was all just random. He's a conman and I'm his mark.

Then a woman is in the room too. She seems to be the boss of the man. She has a huge booger in her nose. I stare at her. She says something like It's a waste of time to pick your nose. I think what she's getting at is why get rid of bugars? Another one will just appear. (I'm sure there's deep symbolism there somewhere).

It becomes a bit like bad cop and good cop. The man is cheerful and encouraging. The woman is downright pushy and mean. She starts making threats. I can join their team by choice and be happy, or they can make my life miserable.

I'm not sure exactly how I react to all of this. I think I decide to lie. It seems my plan is to give them a false lead of where my blog is, get out of there, and hope they never find me.

At some point, they ask if my blog is about Hispanic culture. I lie and say yes. Later though I say I lied. It's not about that. I decide to tell them it's about a country, but decide I should give them the wrong country. I think for a moment and then say it's about Ireland. I start trying to imitate an Irish accent. I make the mistake of starting with g'day.

The woman looks at me very suspicious. G'day is not Irish.

I meant good day. And then I add something stereotypically Irish like Top of the morning to you.

Before escaping, I also sprinkle a few laddies here and there. I start to actually enjoy the lying, and that makes me uncomfortable. I don't like dishonesty. I shouldn't be having fun with it.

For some reason, I now have all my notebooks and stuff scattered on the table. I rush to try and put them back in my bag...scared there will be something Australian on them. The woman tries going through my backpack. I tell her I think that's illegal to go through someone's stuff without permission. 

She backs off.

I get my stuff together and start to head out. Often when I leave a place, I get my keys out and have them ready in my hand. It makes me feel more secure for some reason. I'm about to do that, but then remember that I have a I heart Australia keychain. That would totally give me away.

Later, I had a dream within a dream type sequence. I sit at the kitchen table with Tim and another man, and I try to tell them my dream. The other man is incredibly rude to me. He tells me he doesn't want to hear the dream. He hates hearing dreams. I argue with him, and he says he'll give me a few minutes and that's it. I have no plans of shutting up. I start telling the dream to them. Then I notice that across from all of us is Thaao Penghlis from Days of our Lives. He's listening to my dream and actually seems interested and amused by it.

I have no idea what all that means.

Another bizarre dream from last night: The whole right side of my mouth is falling apart. It's like the gums have turned into flaps. There's this disgusting green stuff behind them. It kind of looks like broccoli, but I'm figuring it's a part of my body that's gone bad. Later though , I realize it is broccoli and all I have to do is pick it out. It's a bit painful to do that though and I kind of dread it. When I finally go to do it, the broccoli is miraculously gone. In it's my a bookshelf with books. You lift a flap in my mouth and there's a whole damn bookshelf. The funny thing is I saw nothing weird or unusual about it. I saw it as being perfectly normal.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Arthur Phillip

I've finished my research posts about places we're going to visit on our next trip to Australia. I'll probably do more posts like that after we return to Australia. I'll write about the places we did NOT visit, but might visit someday.

So, I've been trying to decide what to research next.

I'm thinking maybe I'll do some biographical research. There are often characters who catch my eye...capture my heart. So, maybe I'll look into those people. I'll start with Arthur Phillip and if that works out well (meaning it doesn't bore me to tears or completely overwhelm me) I'll do more.

So, let's see.

I guess I'll start with Lord Wiki.

No, maybe I won't.

I think this time I'll start with the Dictionary of Australian Biography. I'll talk to Lord Wiki later.

Phillip was born in London. October 11, 1738. Or in Aussie language 11 October 1738. You know I always thought the Australian way of writing the date was weird, but now that I think of it, that ways makes much more sense. It's going more in order. Day to month to year. Small time period to medium to large. Yeah, much better.

Okay. Here's something annoying. I was going to try and find Phillip's numerology number. I went to a couple of numerology calculator websites to plug in the number, and you know what they said. You're how old? Yeah. Right. Like no one else has ever wanted to know the numerology of an historical figure before.

Now I'm going to have to use a regular calculator.

Let's see. We'll start with the month. It's 10=1+0 and that equals 1. So we have 1 for his month.

The month 11 can stay 11 because 11 is one of the master numbers.

Now for 1738. 1+7+3+8=19 and then you reduce that to 1+9. That equals 10 and that's reduced to 1+0=1.

Then you add the the day to the month to the year. So, that would be 1+11+1=13.

Reduce 13 to 1+3


He's a 4.

Jack's a four too although he doesn't act like a four. He acts much more like a five.

My labor was induced with Jack. I think he was born on the wrong day. If he was born one day later, I think this would have matched him much better.

Fours are all about organization and good management. It's about being practical. Was Phillip like this? Maybe we shall see.....

In Astrology, the guy was a Libra. He might have been a combination of love and practicality.

What about Chinese Astrology? According to this website, Phillip would be a horse. They say this means he is Independent and a hard worker. Although friendly, may have a tendency to be selfish. Must guard against being egotistical.

Well, that sounds like a way. He was friendly to the Aborigines. But yeah. He was a bit selfish. He kidnapped Bennelong and pretty much forced him to be his friend.

All right. Enough occult stuff for now. But wasn't that fun?

Well, I had fun.

Wow. First paragraph and I already got some soap opera stuff. His mother was married to someone else before she married Phillip's daddy. This first husband was a captain and some believe it might have been the first husband's influence that allowed our Arthur to go to Greenwich school in London. Usually, only sons of seamen were allowed. Oooh. So, I detect some scandal here. Maybe Phillips mum was getting some action from the first husband.

When Phillip was fifteen he became an apprentice on a ship called Fortune. That's a good name for a ship.

He entered the navy when he was seventeen. He fought in some wars. I don't know what wars were happening then. 1756 and 1757. I'm very bad at military history.

Let me go look this up.

According to Lord Wiki, there was the Seven Years War around that time. I have no idea what that's about.

Holy crap! This is huge. It killed about a million people. I mean don't get me wrong. The name sounded familiar to me. I'm sure I heard of it. I probably even learned about it in school. Well, I should say I was probably present in a classroom in which a teacher talked about it. I probably daydreamed instead of listened. Oops.

It sounds like a world war type thing.

Later, there was another war. England against Spain. I think I'd side with England unless it involved food. I much prefer tapas and Paella to Yorkshire pudding.

I won't go into details because it's a bit boring to me. But I'll just say Arthur Phillip had a pretty impressive career in the navy. He had a great reputation.

I think all that navy stuff lasted until he was in his forties. In 1786 he was appointed captain of Sirius (the ship not the character in Harry Potter) and Governor Elect of New South Wales. He was forty-eight years old.

Phillips had two interesting ideas/plans about the whole New South Wales thing. One was that a ship with artisans should come before the convicts. This idea was not turned into reality. I wonder how different history would have been if it had been done. The other idea was to keep the worst criminals together on one ship so they wouldn't contaminate the other criminals. I don't think this was done, but I'm not sure. I'm sure Robert Hughes would have talked about it in The Fatal Shore. Maybe he did; but it might have been one of the times my eyes were reading the words while my mind thought of something else.

I'm not going to go into a lot of details about the beginning days of New South Wales, just because I did that in an earlier post.

I am going to read the information in the biographical dictionary though--to see if there's anything exciting and interesting that I didn't know yet.

Here's something: He adopted the right attitude to the aborigines, and walked unarmed among them though they were armed. He had determined that he would never fire on them except in the last resort.

I like that. He seems fairly okay--at least for the standards of those days.

You know, I changed my mind about writing this. The writing on that website hurts my eyes. Or maybe I'm just not in the mood. I'm skipping that paragraph and moving on.

In 1793 he resigned from being governor. Let's play calculator again. He was 55 years old. White New South Wales was five-years-old. And no I didn't need the calculator for that. Thank you very much. I used my fingers.

Phillips wife was named Margaret Charlott. It's funny they don't mention her until now. They did mention earlier that he got married, but not much was said about it. The wedding happened in 1763. I have a feeling the husband and wife didn't see each other too much--you know with him fighting in wars and running off to Australia. She died while he was in Australia. Kind of sad. I wonder if they loved each other. In those days, you couldn't have much of a long distance relationship. It's not like you could email or send text messages.

When Phillip returned to England, he remarried.  This wife was Isabelle Whitehead. The couple stayed home and had a wild sex life. No, I'm joking. It seems Isabelle was also a bit of a sea-widow. He did a lot more ship stuff, but eventually (If I'm reading this right) slowed down and enjoyed some time relaxing in Bath. He had inherited money from his late wife because she had been a widow and received money when her first husband died. He also received pension money. So, Phillips enjoyed a life without much financial hardship.

He died in 1814 in Bath. Seventy-six years old. I'm guessing that's pretty good for those days. Or maybe not. This website talks about how we have the wrong idea about life expectancy in the past. We look at the low life expectancy averages and assume people didn't live to old age. But the truth is the high mortality of infancy and childhood brought the averages down. It's not really like a thirty-five year old was seen as an old man. At least I don't think so.

The biographical dictionary says it seems like there were no children from either marriage. I guess this means no one knows for sure. Mysterious.

There's a rumor that Phillip committed suicide by throwing himself out of a window, but the biographical dictionary says there's no evidence to support this.

Now I'm going over to Lord Wiki. He lists things that were named after Phillip. They include Phillip Island in Victoria and Phillip Island near Norfolk Island. My best friend loves Phillip Island. She likes the penguins there. She named her Facebook Haiku pet after Phillip Island.

I just thought I'd tell you guys that.

In 2007, an Australian lawyer (barrister) named Geoffrey Robertson announced that Phillip's remains are missing. Arthur Phillip is not buried where people believed he was buried. Robertson is also angry by the fact that Phillip was buried in a small churchyard rather than a grand cathedral. He wants Phillip to be found and returned to Australia.

I just found this website. It looks fun and easy to read. It says his father was a language teacher from Germany. I wonder what language he taught. German? English? Or maybe neither.

Phillip had a fifteen year break from Navy stuff at some point and did farming work. This farming experiment probably helped him with the Governor of New South Wales stuff. The Biographical dictionary actually mentioned this, but I didn't catch the part about the fifteen years of farming. Okay and also...this new website is just much easier to read.

Phillip fought in the American War of Independence. I'm guessing he wasn't on the American side.

Oh, here's something exciting. The website says that it was Phillip who came up with the idea of saying Gum Tree for Eucalyptus tree. So, every time we say gum tree, we're honoring Arthur Phillip. At least, I think so.

Here's a quote website with just one quote from Phillip. He said: There are few things more pleasing than the contemplation of order and useful arrangement.

Ah! That goes very well with his 4 numerology number, doesn't it? Kind of eerie.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

We Got Our Phones Back!!!

In case I didn't tell you guys this yet, I had a VERY hard time adjusting to leaving Australia and coming back to the United States. I have to say it went way beyond the usual post-holiday blues. What made things even harder for me is my sister went to Australia about a month after we came back. I love my sister. I do. But I was incredibly jealous. The analogy I thought of back then was someone being told their sister was going to sleep with their boyfriend. I know that sounds crazy. What can I say? I was THAT jealous. I actually felt sick about it. It tore me apart.

I did try to be nice about it.

I did try to be mature.

It was a huge struggle, though.

Before they left, my husband offered to let them borrow our phones we bought in Australia. This way they wouldn't have to buy new phones when they got to Australia. This really upset me. I was very emotionally attached to the phones. I had all these text messages from friends. And I don't know. I just didn't want to share my phones. My husband kindly said we could take back our offer. But I said no. We should share. I'm all into sharing because of eco/financial reasons. There's no need to buy new phones just because I have some weird emotional attachment. I also TRY to not become emotionally attached to objects. So, I knew the right thing to do....the thing I HAD to do was let them borrow the phones.

They took the phones.

They returned to America.

We waited to get the phones back.

We didn't get them back.

Then one day, about a month ago, I asked my brother-in-law about the phones. He told me they had already given them back to us. He said they put them in our lake house room. He said they had put them in the mesh bag we had given them.

I remembered them leaving us stuff at the lake house once. They gave us a bag with Tim's scuba license, a knife, and a box of Murray River Salt.

My brother-in-law insisted the phones had been there too, but he said he'd check their electronic stuff to make sure.

I was confused, at first, and questioned my own memory. But then things didn't make sense to me. I was so emotionally attached to those phones. I told Tim that I would have been so excited to get the phones back. I would have wanted to read all my old text messages. I would have noticed the return of those phones. It would have been an emotional occasion for me.

Still, despite all this I questioned myself. A couple other of my memories of recent events have been denied lately. So...yeah. I've had this awful suspicion at times that I'm losing my mind-- forgetting things that have happened and creating events inside my mind that I feel truly happened.

I told my husband about my beliefs--that they didn't give us the phone because I would have remembered it. I would have wanted to turn the phones on so we could read the old messages.

Tim said that's not true. We wouldn't be able to read the messages because we couldn't plug in the phones in the United States. He then said that now that he thought of it, he DID sort of remember us getting the phones back. And he sort of remembered me asking to see the messages, and he had told me he couldn't do it.

I was confused. I thought maybe he was right. I looked around the house, thinking maybe I'd find the phones and realize how wrong I had been.

I couldn't find the phones.

I also didn't hear back from my brother-in-law about his search through their electronic equipment. I didn't want to pester them too much, though, because they're busy with that whole what-to-expect-when-you're-expecting business.

But then tonight Tim was going out on a James Bond movie outing with my two brother-in-laws. I asked him to ask about the phone. He did.

And guess what he came home with tonight!

The phones!

This is wonderful on so many levels

1. It's further prove that, although I'm weird and in love with a country in a way that some women are in love with a man(or woman); I'm not totally insane. I haven't lost my mind or memory.

2. I was right and they were wrong. So ha!

3. We were able to read the old text messages. It was all totally like the Hanukkah miracle. Those damn phones still had juice in them--after all these months. Don't ask me how that works. I saw messages from Tim. I saw messages from my cousin. I saw messages from my friends. It was awesome. My heart is all warm and cozy right now.

4. I can give some of you guys my phone number so you can text or call us when we're in Australia. It might be hard to keep up via the Internet. I'm not going to post my mobile number on a public blog. (of course!) But when we get closer to our leaving time, I'll send a reminder and if you want my number, you can email me.

5. The phones have the ringtone from Medium! I love that ringtone and had asked Tim if we could get it on my phone...the American ones. He said that wasn't possible because we didn't have right service. Well, it ends up that it's on the Australia ones. I wonder if we used those ringtones while we were there, and I didn't realize they were the same ones from Medium. Oh! Maybe the reason I loved the ringtone on Medium so much is my unconscious mind remembered it was what we heard in Australia!

Anyway, this is so awesome. I can pretend I'm Alison Dubois while we're in Australia!

I am so happy right now!