Sunday, May 15, 2011

Lake House, Singing, Balconies, and Dogma,

1. Sang "I Am Australian" on the lake house boat dock.  Well, I sang part of it.  I don't have all the lyrics memorised yet.  I only know the first two verses.

It was a nice walk, except my shoe keeps hurting my little toe.

I saw a turtle in the lake. That was nice.  

2. Tried to learn the third verse of "I am Australian."

3. Learned about the Australia planking thing.  I saw it mentioned on Facebook, and then I googled.   Apparently, it involves lying flat on one's stomach and then getting a photo of the whole thing.  It sounds safe and innocent enough, but sometimes people like to make it dangerous. I found this article which says someone was killed doing it on a balcony in Brisbane.

I'm sure most people do it in safer conditions.  It's probably not usually horribly dangerous.  I can't say it sounds fun to me; but hey, we all have our things....

4. Fixed the kangaroo statue at the lake house. He had been leaning over a bit. 

5. Sat on the balcony at the lake house and started to watch episode 9 of Offspring.  There's a beautiful view of the property here.  I can hear roosters crowing and other birds singing.

It's not perfect though. There's a glare on the screen from the sun, and a wasp just flew past me. 

6. Looked up Lachy Hulme on IMDb.   He plays the strange and intense Dr. Clegg.   I enjoy his character. 

7. Touched by the budding friendship between Darcy and Cherie. I hope they end up getting together.

8. Slightly amused that I can see my fairy bread t-shirt in Dr. Havel's wife's hotel room. This glare from the sun is really strong.

9. Learned what it means to drop your bucket in the dirt.  It was mentioned on Offspring, so of course I had to go look it up.

10. Went inside because the glare was bothering me. And a wasp flew a bit too close.   Judd, I know you're laughing at me right now.

11. Moved my karaoke machine thing into our room so I can sing and be less embarrassed.   I rarely get to use it, because people are often busy in the playroom.  If I do end up singing, I end up feeling I can't sing songs I want to sing (like Australian songs).  And there's the fact that my family calls me Gloria (in reference to Gloria's awful singing on Modern Family)   So, this way I can spare everyone...sort of.   They'll still be able to hear me a little bit.

12. Learned from Facebook that Rachel Griffith's show Brothers and Sisters is canceled.  My mom watches that; and maybe other members of the family. I'm sure they'll be sad about the news. 

13. Read editorial in Aussie newspaper about vaccines.  My mind is all muddled about that right now.  See, usually I'm on the side of the anti-vaccine people.   I mean I believe in vaccines, and we get vaccinated.   But I believe in a parent's right to question the vaccines.  I also believe in their right to not take scientific studies as gospel.  

But my encounters with people this weekend pushed me a bit to the other side.  I think I feel a little conflicted about that.  They didn't even bring up the vaccines.   I did.  But before that, they made me feel guilty for drinking diet coke.  They're very anti-artificial sweeteners.  They look upon them as being pure evil.  

It's not like they pushed their beliefs on me.  They didn't scoff at my diet soda or lecture me.  But they did have a bit of that holier-than-thou attitude.   Yeah, and I probably give off that attitude when it comes to meat and eggs.  So who I am to complain?

After the first dinner I went home and looked up the artificial-sweetener information for myself.   I decided in this case to put my trust in Lord Wiki.  He usually gives balanced information; although sometimes I have seen him take a side.  And this is probably one of these cases.   Lord Wiki sees no problem with aspartame or sucralose.  He says science has shown in reasonable quantities they're safe.  So then I'm saying to myself, these people are passing on false information.  They believe in pseudoscience.  They're following the advise and warning of quacks! 

This is so wrong of me because I hate the terms pseudoscience and quacks.  I believe in alternative medicine. Sometimes.  I consider myself an open-minded person. I don't think carefully controlled scientific studies have all the answers.

14. Realized it's about being dogmatic with one's beliefs.  It's one thing for someone to believe things MIGHT be true without science to back them up.   I believe in reincarnation based on gut instinct, my own experiences, and some anecdotal evidence I've read.   My belief is not 100%. Sometimes I believe strongly, and other times I think it's just a foolish fantasy.

Other people are extremely dogmatic about their beliefs, despite the fact that there's no absolute proof. Jesus is God and that is THE truth. Anyone who doesn't believe is wrong.

I don't think other people need to believe in reincarnation. I recognize that non-believers may be right and I might be wrong.   

There's no scientific proof that vaccines cause autism.  And According to Lord Wiki, scientific studies have not yet shown that anti-gluten diets have health benefits for autistic children.  That doesn't mean there isn't causation and correlation.  It could be there, and scientists just haven't found it yet.  I mean if science already had all the answers, we'd no longer need scientists.  New information and knowledge keeps coming and coming.  I respect parent's choice to space out and delay vaccines.   I respect parents who put their autistic children on diets, hoping it will make a difference. What I would not be happy with is parents who act dogmatic about their beliefs and put pressure on other parents to make the same choices. 

Who am I trying to fool?  I probably do it all the time.  I'm sure I put pressure on people to breastfeed, homeschool, be vegetarian, drink less alcohol, read Harry Potter, etc.  

15. Realized that it's easy to feel defensive when people are dogmatic about their beliefs and make different choices than us.  Maybe it's because we feel they disapprove of us (even if they don't explicitly say so); and we start to wonder if maybe they're right and we're wrong.  Sometimes we can feel people are pushing their beliefs on us, and they're not doing anything except making a different choice.

At the start of this weekend, I thought my lesson was about getting a taste of my own medicine.   I thought maybe this was my chance to see how my homeschooling, lack of drinking, lack of meat-eating, and avoidance of most eggs annoyed the hell out of people.  But now after writing all this, I realize I was never wrong for making these lifestyle choices.   The wrong thing I did was feeling annoyed at our guests this weekend.   They have a right to believe what they want to believe, and they have a right to share their reasoning when asked.   My role should really be to listen, try to understand, and then decide whether or not I want to follow in their footsteps or not. 

16. Glad that I saw that editorial about vaccines because it gave me an excuse to blab on and on about all this.  I think I really needed to work out my feelings there.  

17. Decided to watch episode 10 of Offspring.   I wanted to watch it on the balcony; outside at night, under the stars.  But it's a bit too chilly.  So instead I'm sitting on the floor inside, next to the balcony door.