Saturday, March 5, 2011

Change, Sleep, Memory, and Delusions

1. Listened to my Ben Lee station on Pandora, and there was a song I really liked. I forgot the name, but it was by a guy named  Howie Day. I wondered if he was Australian, so I checked.  He's an American, from Maine.   

I decided since I liked that song so much (even though I forgot the damn title) I'd make a Howie Day station.  The first song that came on was from an album called Australia.  I thought that was pretty cool.  I have no idea why he chose that for his album's name.

2. In the middle of the night, thought about Target in Australia.  And I thought about buying candy at Australian grocery stores.  I'm not sure if it was a dream, or if I was awake.  Maybe I was half dreaming and half awake.

3. Sad to see that no one watched my video.  Oh well. Maybe later someone will watch it.  I won't hold my breath.

Since I know how it feels to post something and have almost everyone ignore it, I try to make an effort to watch people's videos and look at their photos. AND I try to take the time to offer feedback.   I assume people usually appreciate that.   Of course, I can't do that for everyone. But I try to do a bit each day. 

4.  Read more of Moral Hazard by Kate Jennings, and felt a lot of sympathy for people who have to deal with Alzheimers.  It's like taking care of a baby or toddler, which I think is hard in itself. But this is much more difficult because it's someone who used to be independent. Often they were the ones taking care of the people who are now having to take care of them. I think it would be incredibly sad.

I believe it's not just the regression that's hard. Although that's probably the worst part.   Sometimes it's hard enough just dealing with the personality change.  We love someone. Then they drastically change. Can we still manage to love them? 

5. Put a link to my video on Facebook.   I figure it's wrong to whine without first trying harder. Not that I have much hope people will watch it.

6. Read article about standardized test skepticism.  There's some questions about a disadvantaged Melbourne Primary School getting fantastic NAPLAN results.  Does this show that children and their schools don't need a lot of money to be well educated?  Maybe.  It's possible. I think in superb situations, adversity can be overcome.

There are other possibilities.  The article talks about controversies in America. There have been accusations of cheating, and accusations of keeping underperforming children home the day of the test.  A lot of the article is about Dallas.  On the day of the test in Dallas, 27% of primary school students were not there.

I like this quote.  It's from an education guy who quit because he wasn't happy with what he was seeing.  What did they do that took a kid in Broadmeadows from the bottom 10th or 20th percentile and put them in the top percentile? Whatever they did needs to be copied by everybody, so why hasn't it? Why didn't they celebrate their methods? 

The article also mentions that the writing bit of the test had lower scores at these schools than the spelling and grammar multiple choice bits.  With multiple choice, it's easier to cheat. It's harder to fake good writing.

7. Read article that says the main focus of this year's Mardi Gras in Sydney was gay marriage.    Wouldn't that be cool if next year they're celebrating the fact that gay marriage is legal in Australia?   I have lots of wild dreams, and with most of them, I doubt they'll come true.  But this one, I actually have hope for. I think gay marriage WILL be legal in Australia in the next few years.

8. Disgusted with the American government and what they're doing with Bradley Manning.  I don't think I'll ever forgive them for this.  They're stripping him naked every night.   Why?   Because they don't want him to commit suicide.  Okay?   But aren't they saying he might get the death penalty?!   It doesn't make sense.  If they don't want him to die, why are they considering the death penalty.

I would hope that Manning wouldn't want to commit suicide. I want him to fight, survive, and become free one day.  But if he didn't want to fight... If he wanted to give up, he should have that right.

I wrongfully believed that when Obama became president, our government would stop being so evil and corrupt.   Nothing much has changed.  

9. Read article about the new Mad Max film.  The rainy weather has put it on hold. They were planning to film in Broken Hill, and they wanted it to look like a nice dusty outback. Instead, it looks like a flower garden.  That's pretty crazy.

10. Read very funny column post about the Oscars.  Ben Pobjie lists all the reasons why Australia won at the Oscars.  They include obvious things like Shaun Tan's win.  But then there's some creative stuff such as....

Natalie Portman, winner of Best Actress, is rumoured to have once visited Australia, which she reportedly “loved”

and

Best Adapted Screenplay winner Aaron Sorkin wrote The Social Network, which is about Facebook, which is very popular in Australia. He also wrote A Few Good Men, which starred Tom Cruise, who was once married to Nicole Kidman, meaning the screenplay Oscar was, technically, won by an Australian.

I love that.  

11. Read article that says Australia's busyness is preventing babies and toddlers from getting enough sleep.  They're getting an average of eight hours; and health professionals recommend that they get 10-12 hours.  It's hard for parents to come home from work, pick up the kids, and then do all that needs to be done.   

We've been getting to bed too late lately. It's not a big deal since we're unschoolers, and have a fairly free schedule.  We don't often have to wake up early in the morning.  But sometimes Jack wakes up after getting only eight hours of sleep. I probably don't need to worry unless it becomes a regular thing.  He usually sleeps 9-10 hours.

This parenting website is reassuring.  It talks about how studies have shown that not every adult and child needs the same amount of sleep.  It's less about numbers and more about feelings and behaviors.   

So, some babies and toddlers are probably fine with the busy schedules.  Others though may end up being exhausted and cranky. They might need their parents to try to make some life adjustments. I can't imagine that's going to be easy for them.

12. Practiced singing Missy Higgins' "Scar".

I've been thinking about the theme of the song lately, and realized I haven't felt too much pressure to change for people. I think most people either like me, accept that I'm a freak they can't change, or avoid me. 

13. Read more of Moral Hazard.  From what I'm reading, I'd rather be the one who has Alzheimer's than the one who's the caretaker.  I say this as someone who has no personal experience with Alzheimer's, so don't take what I say as gospel.  

14. Looked at an Alzheimer's website.  They say most victims of the disease are sixty-five and older.

They have a myth page.  It makes me paranoid because they do say that some people get the disease in their 30's and 40's.  My memory has been not-so-great lately. 

Lord Wiki says getting it this early is very rare.  That's a relief.   He also says early-onset would often involve a family member who has it.  None of my grandparents had it.

You know the first time I remember (ha!) my memory going bad was in Sydney.  I talked to this woman at the Maritime Museum.  She had convict ancestors and I thought it was absolutely fascinating.  I planned to remember the names she gave me.   Then we went into the Endeavor thing.  We had to bend a bit because the ceiling was low.   When we got out, I had already forgotten the name.   I remember feeling it was very unusual for me.  I thought maybe bending my head back had messed with my brain.   Maybe it did.   Maybe I somehow got brain damage.  

On the bright side, most of my memory is intact.  I forget stuff, but I also remember a lot.   If I think about it. Yeah, I forgot the name of the convict ancestor.   But I DO remember talking to the woman, and I remember that I forgot what she told me.  That happened almost two years ago. So some things do stick with me.   

15.  Saw an old photo of May Gibbs.  It's from around 1916.   She'd be around 39 in the picture. That's close to my age.   She looks like someone I know, but I can't figure out who.  

16. Happy that someone has finally watched my video.  And yes, I've been checking obsessively.

 Earlier today I was almost-pleased because some people had liked my video-link on Facebook.   One "liked" it almost immediately after I posted it. I couldn't figure out how they managed to watch it so fast.  But then I checked on YouTube, and the video stats had not gone up.   I guess these people simply liked the fact that I posted a video, but don't want to actually watch it.  

I'm wondering if I've ever done that before.   I don't think so.   I HAVE clicked "like" instead of commenting, but I think I've always looked at what they were sharing first.   Or I at least look at part of it.   The exception I can think of is links to articles.   I might sometimes "like" the headlines without actually reading the article.  Usually, I probably read it though.     

17. Disturbed by scenes in Moral Hazard.  It's another case of people believing that death is the WORST thing, and any amount of suffering is preferable.  It's very sad.

18. Got to the chapter about assisted-suicide-by-overdose in Moral Hazard just after "Rocket Man" came on the Pandora radio.  I think it's a bit eerie because I associate that song with assisted suicide.  Nip/Tuck had a storyline about that, and during those scenes they played the song.   For some reason, I thought it was the Kate Bush version, but I'm watching it now, and it's the Elton John one.  

19. Decided to stop being delusional, and face the fact that I really don't sing good.  At best, I'm fairly mediocre, and that's probably being generous.

Oh well.  I still have my adorable toenails.

I'm joking.  My toes are actually pretty ugly.  

I'm a little sad, but I'll get over it. I'm probably more sad for the fact that I just watched part of that scene from Nip/Tuck

And hey, I'm not going to stop singing.  There's no law against bad singing.

20. Surprised by something I saw on Statcounter.  Yes.  I'm vague-posting.  Sorry.

21.  Finished reading Moral Hazard.  It was a fairly short book.  Half of it was about Alzheimer's and the other half was about Wall Street.   I preferred the Alzheimer's stuff.  Well, I mean I thought it was more interesting. I don't think in real life, I'd prefer Alzheimer's over Wall Street.  

22. Found another person has "liked" my video without watching it.  Maybe they like the flower image.   It IS pretty.   I don't know if I took the photo....or Tim.   It might have been Jack.

I did think that MAYBE people were watching the video, and YouTube wasn't recording visits from Facebook.  But I went ahead, and tested that out.  It worked for me.   I guess it could have worked for me, but not the others.  But I'm skeptical about that.