Sunday, April 17, 2011

Brunswick Street, Andrew Street, Metlink, and Eggs

1. Decided to watch more SianKummer videos, so I can get an idea if I want to buy a ukulele.  

This one is so adorable.  It's Siany and some other girl singing "Do You Believe in Magic" in the car.  I assume someone's filming from the front seat.

It's lovely.  They sing very well together.

2. Bookmarked Metlink.  Tracey told me about it. It's a Melbourne site about public transportation.   It looks very helpful.  

3. Looked up Brunswick Street on Google Maps because Tracey mentioned it having good restaurants.  When I plugged it in, Google had it in their suggestion thing. I think this maybe means I looked up Brunswick Street before?   There's specific addresses.  One is 330 Brunswick Street.  I looked at street view, and there's a bookstore; Polyester Bookstore.  It looks closed, at least in the picture.  I mean I think it's closed for the night.

4. Found the Polyester Bookstore's website.  They pride themselves on selling alternative books. It does look vaguely familiar.  I might have encountered them during my research? I should search my blog and see.

That didn't work. I came up empty. I don't often have much luck searching through my blog.  

5. Checked out the other places on Brunswick Street that Google recommends.  One is 413 Brunswick Street. There's a used record store there.

Maybe I never searched for these places.   Maybe Google just knows I like weird bookstores and stuff like that; and it tries to point me in the right directions.  That's a bit spooky...but also cool.

I probably did search for those places though.

6. Decided to look up Andrew Street in Melbourne. This has nothing to do with my helpful friend Andrew. 

Although I don't often remember what I learn in my research, I DO remember that a famous murder took place on Andrew Street.

Here we go.  Google has 57 Andrew Street saved for me.

I looked up Frederick Bailey Deeming and it's 57 Andrew Street. The information matches.

What's the story again?  I need to reread.   

Okay.  He beat his wife around Christmas.  Then he cemented her into the house. I think under the floor.  Months after he left, someone noticed the bad smell.  Yikes.

7. Decided to comment on my Facebook pages with my page profile name instead of my personal Facebook page.   It might be a good way to promote my blog.  I wouldn't want to be one of those annoying people who comment on places JUST to promote their blog.   But I already comment fairly frequently on Facebook pages anyway. So I might as well use my blog page to do it.  

8. Took up a lot of time working with the Facebook thing.  I had to add all my liked pages to my Facebook page.  Then I had to silence them on my personal page.    Well, I don't want to end up commenting as two entities.  Now my personal Facebook page is really quiet.  I could probably stop muting those overly active "friends" I have.  Before they took up too much space on my news feed.  But now my newsfeed is pretty much empty. Well, at least the personal one is.

I struggled to decide if I should add non-Australian pages to my Facebook Page's likes.  I decided to do it, since this blog isn't just about an Australia obsession. It's also about the weird American.  So I have some of my non-Aussie interests on there.

9. Read my Robert Drewe book at the park for a short time.  I was waiting for Tim and Jack to come back  on their bikes.  Then we all got ice-cream.   

10. Read an article about the Marrickville boycott of Israel.  The basic idea is they're going to quit the idea of the boycott, because it would be a financial strain on the community.   But they're going to support the Pro-Palestinian cause in spirit.

Okay.  They can do what they want.  We all have our issues and causes.  I really can't tell if BDS is anti-Israel—as in Israel shouldn't even exist.  Or do they just want better relations between Israelis and Palestinians?

10. Learned about the fire show at the Crown Casino.  Andrew has mentioned it a few times. I thought maybe it was fireworks, but it looks like it's not. That's good for m, because I don't really like fireworks.

I don't know if we'll go to the fire show.  Maybe.  It doesn't seem like something I'd go out of my way to attend.  Maybe if we stay around that area?  It might also be a fun thing to see with friends.

11.  Read that there's been a small earthquake in Western Australia.  There are bunches of tornadoes in America. I think we're giving earth indigestion, and she's trying to get rid of all of us.  

12. Realized I did NOT bookmark the Metlink site. I wanted to go to it, and the bookmark wasn't there.  Oops. I had to find Tracey's email, because I couldn't remember the name of the site.  Anyway, now I shall bookmark it.

I'm using Metlink to see if we can easily get from Federation Square to Brunswick.  I need to remember that we don't always have to eat in the same place as our tourist attractions. We don't even have to be walking distance from eating places.  Everyone keeps telling me how great the trams are.  We should use them.  

If we don't love any restaurants near Federation Square, we can grab a snack and then take a tram to some place else.

13. Looked at Metlink's travel plan for Federation Square to Brunswick.  Tracey was right.  This website is awesome.   It gives you really great walking directions. I'm going to look at the directions, and follow them on the map site Andrew gave to me.   

Okay.  I'm playing the scene in my head.  We've finished looking at Australian art at the Ian Potter Centre.  Maybe we've played a a bit in the park and/or watched boats at the Federation Wharf.  We decide we need to get away from this area.

Let's take a tram!

First we have to walk to the tram.

We go north on Hosier Lane and land on Flinders Lane.

14. Saw a Scientology thing near Russell Street.  It's near the Grand Hyatt.  I wonder what it is....

Let's continue with our journey.

We walk up Russell Street until we get to Bourke Street.   I think I see the tram stop. There is a KFC there.  Wouldn't that be awful if we're so hungry we decide to eat that instead of going to Brunswick Street?

I doubt that will happen; but if that happens, it's okay. The journey to the tram stop will have been worth it.  I see we pass a lot of interesting things.

First, there's the Scientology thing.  Then there's some churches. Near Collins Street is the Theosophical Society.   

15. Looked at the walking map for the Brunswick Street part of the journey.  The tram doesn't drop us off at Brunswick.   It drops us off at Nicholson Street.   I remember that street.   It's near the museum, and it has some kind of bakery that looked kind of nice.  Well, it got some good reviews, at least.     

Anyway, so we walk on Nicholson Street and use Rose Street to cross over to Brunswick Street.   OR we could just stay on Nicholson Street and find the bakery.  

16. Found a review of the bakery I was thinking about. It's called The French Lettuce.  

And here's there actual website.   From this, it doesn't look like they have a cafe.   It looks more like a cake and catering type place.   But the review makes it sound like you can get a snack or lunch there.  I guess we shall see.

Since I'm egg-free, there probably won't be much for me to eat.   I might have a bite of Tim's and Jack's food, then feel all morally depraved for the rest of the day.   I'm joking. I had a little bit of egg a week or so ago, and felt morally depraved for only about 20 minutes.   But that was one of those special cases.   Tim went out and bought vegetarian taco meat for us.  He didn't know it had eggs.   The thing is if it wasn't for me, he would have used real taco meat, probably.   I felt bad rejecting Tim's food when he went through the trouble of making it vegetarian for me. And okay, that's probably more of an excuse.   The main thing is the fake meat looked really good.  So I had some.   I felt a bit guilty, but not too much.

17. Read a website about Brunswick Street.  It sounds really nice.  

18. Thought more about the egg issue.  For the most part, it's been easy to say no because there hasn't been anything overly exciting available.  I haven't felt deprived.  There's so much food that doesn't have eggs.   But it's going to be different when we're on vacation.  We do a lot of treat sharing.   I'm going to be a pain to Tim and Jack if I refuse to eat anything with eggs.  Tim and Jack would have to split things between the two of them, and that will be too much food.   So I might lower my ethics and share eggy food with them.  I'm not going to totally egg out, but I might have a bite here and there.

19. Remembered funny conversation I had with Jack today.

I said the usual mom type thing.  I love you more than the universe. You're the most important thing in the world to me.      

Jack said something like, What about Mimi and Papa?  I bet you're the most important thing in the world to them.  

I said (jokingly!)  Oh no.  Mimi and Papa had THREE kids.  They were thinking,  Please! Someone come babysit, so we can go on holiday!

Jack said.   Why would Mimi and Papa say holiday? 

Yep.  I had turned my parents into Australians. Or maybe I made them British.

I think holiday feels more natural to me now. I wrote holiday up above, but then switched it to vacation so I can sound American.

I think I have a language identity-disorder.  I don't know why I worry about what words I use.   We're all going to be mixing things up sooner or later.  We're intermingling so much.  

Maybe I should just write and talk; and not worry what comes out.  Sometimes it might be American and sometimes it might be Australian.  It's the same with accents. Today I was watching a wasp in the park.  A biker called out a warning.   I got out of the way and said something apologetic.  I'm not sure what accent came out of my mouth, but it wasn't American.  

20. Wondered about stalking laws from reading Robert Drewe's grace.   I haven't looked it up yet.  First I want to say what I think SHOULD happen.  I think stalkers who do major stalking should be locked up.  Victims shouldn't have to wait to be raped, kidnapped, or murdered. No one should have to live in terror like that.

I say these stalkers should be locked up for 10-20 years.  When they get out, the victim should be warned. The stalker should be told he/she can't have any contact with the victim.  If contact is made, then he/she goes to prison for life.

I guess the problem would be deciding who's innocent and guilty.  An innocent person might be framed for stalking by someone with persecution delusions. A guilty person might be able to play the system and look innocent. 

21. Consulted Lord Wiki about stalker laws.  In Australia, it can be seen as a criminal offense, but it seems in most cases they use fines and restraining orders.  From what I'm reading in Robert Drewe's book, I'm doubting that's effective enough.

22. Found a website about Australia's stalking laws.  It's confusing and complicated.   My feeling is it should be the same as my definition of bullying.   If someone says stop contacting me, and someone continues to do so; then that would be stalking.  I don't think we should be overly rigid though.   

Let's say my friend writes to me and says something that makes me mad.  I decide I don't want to be her friend anymore. I say, stop writing me.   We're not friends anymore.   This is over!   I think my friend has a right to write back and apologize, demand explanations, fight more, etc.    Now if I respond and say Really.  This is OVER.   Stop writing me.  If she continues to write me and/or contact me in other ways, then I think we have a stalker situation.  

23. Found an Australian anti-stalking site.   They define stalking as repeated and persistent unwanted communications and/or approaches that produce fear in the victim. The stalker may use such means as telephone calls, letters, e-mail, graffiti and placing notices in the media.

I think that's a good definition. There're two key words there; persistent and unwanted.

Someone could persistently communicate with me, and I might not mind it.  Sometimes I might get annoyed that they're so prolific, and I can't keep up.   But I'll still love them, and not be too bothered.

Don't we all get unwanted communications?  That's part of life. It doesn't mean we're being stalked, unless they keep trying and trying to bother us.  

Persistent AND unwanted communications—that's where there's a problem.  

24. Read website's page about victims choosing to disappear.   The site doesn't recommend it.   I would probably agree.  The site says,  There are substantial costs in relocating and establishing a new identity, and in the vast majority of cases it is unnecessary. Moving away disrupts work, schooling and social ties. It is both emotionally and financially draining, especially if you have already invested in additional home security measures. Worst of all, your sacrifice may be in vain if the stalker persues you to your next address, some stalkers proving more than equal to this challenge.

Maybe moving to a new continent would help.  The stalker would have to at least be able to afford plain tickets to get to you. But if you're close to your friends and family, it would be a tough decision to make.

How about getting a dog?   Does that help? 

25. Read page on site about what victims CAN do when being stalked.  They say don't have ANY response for the stalker, not even negative ones such as get lost.   But I think this would be the case only with stalkers you don't know.   If it's someone who's a part of your life, I think you have to tell them to get lost initially.  Otherwise, they're not your stalker.  They're your friend, spouse, lover, acquaintance, etc.  

You should keep detailed records of any encounters. This is probably important advice, because if we get scary letters or emails, our automatic response might be to delete them or throw them away.   It's probably better to instead print them out and save them. 

By the way, there's a lot of advice here.  I'm just mentioning the ones that call out to me.

Here's another one..... 

You should let other people be aware of what's happening to you.  The website advises telling the place where you work.  I'm trying to say something about Grace here without giving away too much. Maybe I should just shut up and not try. 

No, I'll try.  Informing your boss and coworkers could help because then they won't mistake your stalker for an unfairly jilted lover. But on the other hand, if you tell your boss and coworkers they might believe you're exaggerating and/or you're a drama queen.  They might not take it seriously, or they might decide they don't want all that drama.   Hopefully, most places aren't like that. I can kind of understand if someone shies away from hiring someone who says By the way, a stalker is after me.   But if someone is already working somewhere and then becomes stalked, they should be able to seek support.  Then there's the question though. If a stalker victim is being interviewed for a job, should they mention they're having this problem?  

Well.....I don't know the answer to that.   

What if it was happening to me when I looked for a preschool job?   Would a school want a teacher that had a stalker?  What if the stalker came into the school and put the kids in danger?   Would it be fair for me to put everyone at risk?  But then if I'm a victim of stalking, is it fair for me to be jobless and carry this burden all alone? 

I don't know. I don't know. I don't know.

Stalking is a horrible thing.  That's all I know.