Saturday, February 12, 2011

Help, Confidence, Dangerous Animals, and Mamma Mia

1. Dreamed that Tim and Jack were headed to the airport.  I decide to go with them. I don't want to go to the airport, but I'm going to accompany them on the ride, and then walk home. While Tim is driving though, it's like I'm in a separate place. I'm with them, but not with them enough that I can talk to them.  Maybe I'm in a separate compartment?    

After a few minutes I realize that I really can't walk home all the way from the airport. I'll have to get out earlier.  But I can't tell Tim to stop driving.  I figure I'll have to just jump out. That had nothing to do with Australia.  HOWEVER,  in the morning when I was thinking about the dream, Heidelberg popped into my head; the school of art in Victoria. I have no idea why. 

2. Figured the the Internet advertising Gods must know I love Australia, because almost all the ads I see while browsing are for Qantas. Today I saw something from Lizard Island. I'm thinking that looking at these ads are a good way of analyzing yourself. If you don't know who you are, look at the banner ads that you encounter.

3. Followed a Facebook Friend's link to an article that says private schools in New South Wales can legally expel students for being gay.  That's really cool that the schools get such freedom.  I want my own school.  I won't expel people for being gay.  I'm going to expel students for having big feet.   Why?  Because I feel like it.   And people shouldn't complain.  If they want to go to my school, they can bind their feet and make them small.  

Seriously though, I'd worry less about the law and more about the fact that people are so small-minded.

I wonder if changing the law would help. If schools are forced to allow homosexual students, would they eventually evolve into more accepting environments?  They probably would, but I'm guessing it would take a long time.   I think it would be very hard to be a gay student (at the school )in the time before the bigotry disappears.  He or she would need to be VERY strong.  

I think what I'd want to know is how many schools are wanting to utilize this right-to-discrimination law?   If there are many, then I think it's very worrisome.  I think it would be very depressing for gay teens to know many schools in their town do not want them because of their homosexuality.  But if it's just two or three schools, I wouldn't worry too much.  Let them have their freaky prejudice beliefs.  Worrying about them would be like worrying what the Westboro Baptist Church believes.

Every society is going to have pockets of hatred. If these pockets are small and powerless, there's nothing much to worry about.  The time to worry is when the pockets become big, enter mainstream society, and gain enough trouble to cause actual harm.

4. Read article about South Australia, and how they rank in terms of many government services.   They do well in some areas, and not so well in other areas.  They're ranked very high (compared to other states) for  number of doctors and nurses per person, hospital beds, public housing that's not too crowded, childcare, vocational education, low speeding rates, and less death in custody. They're ranked low (compared to other states) for aged care issues, protective services for kids, teacher/student ratios in government schools, homicide, fire injuries, and some other stuff.

5. Saw a cool Melbourne rainbow photo on Jayne's blog.

6. Watched Geoffrey Rush talk about his favorite performances on the Time website.  I wasn't sure what was meant by that at first.  I thought they might have been asking about his favorite performances in The King's Speech.   It wasn't that though.He was talking about his favorite performances in general.  He likes some old stage actor named John Wood.    That MIGHT be this guy.   I'm not positive though.   Honestly....a lot of the stuff he said went over my head.I think Geoffrey Rush is smarter than me.

7. Read article about Melbourne study that shows children benefit from having alone time with their daddies....meaning mom is not around.  The article says, Fathers who spent significant time alone with their children, organising appointments and participating in daily activities, said it had a positive effect on their children and on their own self-worth.

That does make sense to me.  I think it can be applied to other things as well.   Here's my example.   Tim is known as the cook in our family.  He's phenomenal with cooking.  I'm not so great at it.  But I can manage to put a few simple things together. When he was out of town a few weeks ago, I made pasta.   It's a simple thing.  Boil water, stick the pasta in, take the pasta out, add butter, mix, and then sprinkle cheese on top.  I can manage that. It's not fancy, but Jack and I both love it.

I've made the pasta twice since Tim's been home. He's very eager to help me....at least with the part with boiling the pasta.   Maybe he thinks I overcook or undercook it?    And maybe he's just trying to be helpful?   I appreciate that, especially when I'm busy.  But in some other way, it makes me feel....small.

I have probably been that way with Tim in terms of parenting, especially when Jack was younger, and Tim was off at work the majority of the time.  It's hard not to want to step in and control everything....because you know more.  So it was probably easier for Tim to parent when I was not around to be bossy.  Then he could do things his way, and not feel I was watching and judging him.  Because you know, I WOULD be judging and watching, just like he watches and judges me when I cook.   Yeah.   So it really is best to step away some time, and let people have their own struggles, mistakes, and successes.  

8. Went downstairs and had Tim totally illustrate #7.  He's leaving for the day and evening, helping out at a wedding.  He asked if I wanted him to make anything for our dinner.

No, thank you.  

He said, if worse comes to worse......

Worse comes to worse? What is that supposed to mean? Does he not have any confidence in my cooking?

He looked in the freezer and remarked that we had plenty of food.  I said I'd probably make mac and cheese.   We happen to have all the needed ingredients, and it's pretty easy to make.

Tim offered to make it for me before he left!  I politely declined the offer, but did review the basic recipe with him.  It's really just melting cheddar cheese with milk over the pasta, and maybe adding a little cream and butter. Yeah.  I think I can handle that. Watch I jinx myself, and it ends up being awful.  That would be funny.

I don't mind being helped sometimes, and there are some areas in which I PREFER to have someone else do it for me. This is especially so when it relates to driving.   But if someone is often offering to help me (in various endeavors) it makes me feel that they think I'm highly incompetent.  And I very well might BE incompetent.  But that's not going to change if I'm not allowed to do the work I want to do.

9. Had an amazing case of synchronicity. Not long after writing the above, I read this bit from The Good Parents.  It's a mother and father talking about their son.

"Magnus has the best of intentions," Toni said from the kitchen, "but he doesn't have a clue how to cook.  He'll never get himself to school.  He won't wash his clothes."


"He'll survive. " Jacob felt a sneaking sympathy with Magnus's desire to be alone. "Do him good", he added.  "Wasn't it a father's duty to throw his son in at the deep end?"

It reminds me of Tim, and it also reminds me of my own parents.  Don't some folks say we marry people who are like our parents?  I think that definitely happened in my case. Maybe that's why Tim and my parents get along so well. They share that lack of confidence in me.

10. Realized I was partly wrong about my parents. They HAVE showed confidence in me at times.   For example, they had me make my sister's wedding video.   That was a pretty huge thing.   I think my parents pride themselves on being superb parents because they do so many favors for us.  And that's very nice, and all. But I think the best things they've done as parents is ask us to do THEM favors.   

11. Tried to not feel guilty or weird for writing more about myself than Australia in this post.   I just have to remind myself that if people wanted all-Australia all-the time they wouldn't be coming to this blog.   They could go to this website instead.

12. Read amusing article that says the Australian government is trying to give money to people, but they're not taking it. It's for childcare. The government provides a rebate for people who put their child in daycare.   It's not just for young children, but also for older children's after school care.

So hey....if your kids are in childcare, and money is a bit tight...check with your government.  They might have some money for you.  I mean if you're Australian. If you're American, don't expect much from your government in terms of family-help.  

13.  Saw an old photograph of The Princess Theatre in Melbourne, and that inspired me to see what's playing there now.   It's Hairspray. Tim likes that. I don't think he's seen the play, but he likes the movie.

The theater is beautiful.  Lord Wiki says the architecture style is called Second Empire. That has French origins. Another Melbourne building that uses that architecture is the Royal Exhibition Building.

It's weird. I think I'm actually becoming interested in architecture.

14. Used Murray River salt when making Mac and Cheese.   I have my cousin to thank for that.  She gave us the salt.  Unfortunately, I DID jinx myself.   The Mac  and Cheese wasn't good.   It wasn't a huge problem though, because we were able to fix it by adding more cheese and salt. Prior to that, it was a bit bland.  

15. Mystified by the fact that I have butterflies in my stomach. I feel nervous about....something.   I have no idea what. It's not necessarily a bad feeling.  I don't have a sense of dread or anything.

I've had weird feelings lately. The day that Egypt got their freedom...was that yesterday?  Anyway, I felt this huge sense of connectedness with the world.   It was like we truly ARE one big family.

One of my Facebook friends posted one of those nostalgia things.  Remember the good old days.... Saturday morning cartoons, catching lightning bugs, playing mother-may-I, etc.    It was all nice, but I wouldn't want to trade in today for yesterday.  I love the Internet, and how we can stay connected with people all over the world.  I think it's fantastic.   And the thing is... there's no rule that says we can't ALSO play simple childhood games. When we're at the lake house, my whole family plays hot potato. We use a lot of our electronics in our family, but we also play games like hangman and twenty questions.

Yeah.   I like the 21st century. It has its downsides (like awful architecture) but there's lots of stuff I wouldn't want to lose.  

16. Read that a shark attacked a man in Exmouth.  That's one of the places on the geography quiz I've been taking.  So I'll think about the guy every time I see Exmouth on the quiz. Hopefully, he'll recover from his injuries and be restored to good health.  

17. Read about the snake bite in The Blue Mountains. I guess Australia is trying to live up to it's dangerous animal reputation.  

18. Read article about how an Australian ethicist thinks we should breed smarter babies.  Personally, I'd go for the goal of breeding kindness.   I don't think the world needs more intelligence.   It needs more compassion. I do SOMETIMES feel intelligent people are more compassionate.   I guess it depends on the type of intelligence.  Personally the type of intelligence that I feel is lacking in our world is intrapersonal and interpersonal.  I'm not sure how much of those types of intelligences are genetic.  

19.  Saw this great 1890's aerial view of Hyde Park in Sydney.   

20.  Noticed that my iTunes DJ thing is playing a lot of Mamma Mia songs.  Three out of six songs since I turned it on.  That soundtrack was kind of like my personal soundtrack for our 2009 trip to Australia.   

It's fun listening to Molly Weasley singing.

And now I'm hearing "Xanadu".  That reminds me of Australia because one of my Australian friends likes that song. Oh, and there's also the Olivia Newton John connection.

21. Saw a photo of Isaac Isaacs.    He was the Jewish Governor-General of Australia.  Wasn't he the first Australian Governor-General as well? Or was that someone else? 

Well, Lord Wiki says he was the first Australian-born person to have the job.

22. Read that Ron Paul has been kicked out of some conservative political group. He's the American Republican who spoke up in defense of Julian Assange.  

23. Listened to "Watch over Me" on iTunes.  Here's the video.  When Bernard Fanning talks at the beginning, did he say he went to the Pope's funeral. I'm not sure if I heard him correctly.  

24. Felt nervous, for some reason, when I saw a picture of this ship.   It's called the Loch Etive.  I'm not sure if it's the imagery that made me nervous, or the name.   I must have some kind of weird association related to it.  

25. Made improvements on my Traveler IQ quiz score.  I still haven't reached my old score though.

26. Listened to Parting Words from Lost. I think it's one of the most beautiful pieces of music.