Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spam, Ghosts, Buses, and Treasures

1. Saw that someone sent me an email about my blog, and it went into my spam folder.   I don't check often, because I switched to Google Mail, and with that, less real emails go into the spam folder.   When I used AOL, I had many real emails falling into the spam folder.

2. Went to Barnes and Noble, just for the fun of it.   I wasn't planning to buy anything, and I didn't.   I saw two Australian things.  One was Muck: A Memoir by Crag Sherborne.  It's about an Australian family who goes off to New Zealand to live on a farm. I read the first few paragraphs.   It didn't scream out.  Buy me!  Buy me!   If I had been planning to buy a book, I might have decided to buy it.   But the book wasn't compelling enough to make me change my plans of not buying anything.

The other thing was a book about Marx written by Peter Singer.  It's part of some series where they take various topics and have some famous intellectual person write about it.

Here.  I found the website for the series. They're called Very Short Introductions; and they're published by Oxford University.  They look kind of fun. I wonder if I'd like them.

3. Decided if I want to learn something, it's probably cheaper and easier to just look it up on the internet. I usually end up regretting getting nonfiction books.  I prefer to read least in book form.  Then online, I prefer to read nonfiction.

4. Suspected that this might be a very short post.   It's almost 5 pm, and this is all I've written so far.   My mind is pretty much blank today. What can I say?

5. Watched Toni Collette in a scene from The Sixth Sense.  This is probably the first time I had seen Collette; and I'm sure I had no idea she was Australian.   She does pretty good with the NY accent thing.

It's really an amazing scene.    It's hard to tell what Collette's character is thinking when Cole tells her he sees ghosts.  Does she believe him?   Does she think he's mentally ill?   Does she think he's lying?  Is she undecided?  I kind of think she's the latter.   She doesn't know what to do, or what to think.   But then when he starts talking about the butterfly pendant, I'm guessing she begins to suspect it's all a lie; a ploy to get out of trouble for the suspected stealing of the pendant.      

The crying in that scene is very impressive.  I especially like when Colette gets all choked up, and struggles to tell Cole what she asked her mom at the cemetery.  It feels very real.

6.  Started watching  a video with an Australian man looking at things in his life and describing them.  It's actually quite interesting.   

The first thing is a picture is of a truck at a school bus stop.   The kids would wait in it while they waited for the bus.   I have vague memories of waiting for the school bus with the other kids in the neighborhood.   I rode the bus longer than most kids, because I was too scared to learn how to drive.  And I guess I also didn't have a lot of friends around to drive me.  I don't know when I stopped riding it the bus.  I remember that in my senior year, we moved to Nashville; and then I got a ride from my friend's mother....who was also my dad's coworker.  I wonder why my friend didn't drive. Maybe she was too young for a license?     

Anyway, back to the video man and his bus.  I don't know if his bus was a school bus or regular public bus.  When we were in Hawaii with our Australian friends, they were very excited to see yellow school buses.   I don't know if it's because Australia doesn't have school buses; or do they just not have yellow ones?

7. Looked up school buses in Australia.   That was a bit confusing, so I narrowed it down to Sydney.   The Sydney Bus system has buses with dedicated school routes.   A bus pass costs $46.30 per term.    That's not too bad when compared to regular bus prices.    An adult weekly ticket is $41, and a concession weekly ticket is $20.50.   A quarterly adult ticket is $451. I'm guessing a term is about as long as a quarter.   

8. Looked at New South Wales school terms. There's four terms, so that would the same as quarters. I think.  

Right now Australians are in the first term.  The NSW holiday is coming up on 8 April. They get about 2 1/2 weeks off.  I didn't realize the holiday was that long.  

9. Watched more of the memories video.   At around :30, the man shows a picture of his navy ship.   He says it's been sunk and is now a diving site.    The man says he loved the ship, and that it was the best that he served on.  I wonder why?   Was it the actual ship he loved, or the people on the ship?    Maybe it was a combination of both.

When Jack was a little tyke, I used to keep him occupied at the library by letting him pick out books for me.   One of them was a book about a guy in the navy.   I'm usually not into military things, but I actually liked the book.   The navy work seemed EXHAUSTING.  I was in the stage of motherhood where there doesn't seem to be any job that's more difficult or exhausting.    It's work, work, and more work.  You don't get to leave your work and go home for the evening. The job continues, and even bedtime doesn't guarantee a break.  

Anyway, I had very little sympathy for non-parents who complained about being too busy.  But when I read the navy book, I felt THESE people had it rough.    I can't remember exactly what it was like, but it seemed comparable to parenting.  There wasn't much time to for the Navy people to sleep.     

The thing that's not told to parent's often enough though is that it DOES get easier. Much easier.    For me, the first 2-3 years were really hard.  Then it became fairly easy.  As Jack got older, I got more and more free time.  Other parents don't tell you this though.   At least they didn't say it to me.    I forgot what exactly they said, but it made me feel very trapped and scared.  I think I got the idea that I'd never have a full night's rest again.....or at least not for several years.

The exception to the it-gets-easier thing is families who have children with severe autism, or other fairly severe disabilities/illnesses.   Then I think the busy, exhausting, and difficult times continue for many years.  Just thinking about it makes me tired.   

10. Watched more of the memory video.   I really like this guy.  He has interesting stuff, and interesting things to say.

He sells UTE decals.

Ah!  He named his website.  I'll try to find it.

Unfortunately, it's down for maintenance.  Hopefully, it will be back up soon.  

I guess he has some kind of shop.  That's what he's showing in the video.  It's SOME kind of business.  Maybe more like a museum?  

They do sell some stuff—hot drinks, lotto tickets, and they have an internet cafe.  Well, of course they'd sell something.  How else would they stay in business?  What I mean is I don't know if they sell any of the artifacts. Those might just be for display purposes.

This guy has a LOT of bottles.  I think that's one of the main things he collects. They look really nice, the way he displays them.

I really admire this guy, at least from what I see in the video.   He takes what many of us would see as rubbish, and treats it like a treasure. That's a nice change of pace for our throwaway society.

I love his bottles on the window.  They're beautiful.  

Oh!  They sell used books too.   Cool.

At the end of the video, the man shows himself.  He's MUCH younger than I imagined.   For some reason, I thought he was a bit old, probably because he has all this old stuff.   But he looks like he's my age, or younger.  It's like when Jen started commenting on my blog, and I thought she was a quirky old lady.   I think I was picturing someone like Ruth Cracknell. Then I found out she's younger than me.   

11. Looked at treasure man's YouTube channel.  His name is Billy Sherman, and he's not younger than me.  He's a year older.  

Here's another one of his videos.   He talks about how he has suffers from depression, and metal detecting work has helped him feel better.  He suggests that other depressed people might try it.    I don't know if metal detecting itself is a treatment for depression.  I think any hobby could work, depending on the person.  When you're depressed, you need something to do.  You need a purpose.   You need a reason to get up in the morning.   You need a reason to WANT to get up in the morning.   I think metal detecting would work very well for some people.   It does sound fun.

The video page has a link to his blog.   It looks like he gets a lot of visitors.  

12. Looked up Dumbleyung on Google Maps, because that's the town where Billy Sherman lives.  I pictured it being in New South Wales, but it's not.  It's in Western Australia, about three hours west of Bunbury.

13. Decided I was wrong about this being a short post.   Oh well.  

14. Had one of those emotional spiritual moments.   I was exercising while watching my screensaver slideshow.  I thought about my Australian obsession and how so many photos from my slideshow come from that part of my life. And I thought about how it all began.

You know how people say Follow your dreams.   Well, I did that...literally.   I don't know why it happened.   But I do know that the Australia obsession began with dreams; not dreams as in wishes, but as in those adventures you go on in the middle of the night.     

After I thought all this, the next photo that appeared was of Jack and Tara brushing their teeth together in Tasmania.   The Australia obsession led us to Tasmania, and to Tara.  And then I thought of Jack.  It was my other huge life obsession that brought him to me; Cystic Fibrosis.  I met Tim through my obsession with CF, and that ultimately led to Jack.

Destiny fascinates me.   It's funny.   Today you might encounter something seemingly trivial; a character on a TV show, a word in a book, a blog with an interesting story, a dream that makes you curious.  You won't think much about it; at least not at first.   Then maybe for some reason it blossoms into something.   Suddenly, you find it difficult to stop thinking about it.   And then gradually it becomes a huge part of your life.  It begins to direct your destiny.    Sometimes you forgot about its importance.  You take it for granted.   But at the times you do remember, you're overwhelmed with gratitude.   

15. Read story of lifeguard saving a toddler at Bronte beach.   She got caught up in the water, and was sort of breathing or pulse.   They saved her.   I love hearing stories like that.     Tragedies are horrible, but almost-tragedies are kind of nice because they make you feel so grateful and relieved.    I say kind-of-nice, because it's better to skip the terror all together.    I'm sure this family is going to have nightmares for a long time.    Well, I hope they spend the next few weeks giving each other millions of hugs and kisses.