Monday, May 2, 2011

Osama Bin Laden, Money, Alcohol, and Perfect Skin

1. Learned that Osama Bin Laden is dead. I'm glad I learned that before I saw that Obama was going to be making a late night Sunday announcement.  Otherwise I'd probably be thinking we were facing an asteroid collision or alien invasion

I'm not sure how to feel about Bin Laden dying.  It's exciting to see other people so excited, but kind of in the same way I like seeing Trekkies excited to go to a Trekkie convention. There's something neat about people going out late at night to spontaneously celebrate.

But is Bin Laden's death going to improve the world?   It doesn't seem likely.  The storms and earthquakes aren't going to stop.  There will still be terrorism.  People will still die of cancer.  We're not gaining any new freedoms because of his death.  Life will go on as it has before.

I guess people are happy because of the whole justice-has-been-served thing.  That makes sense. But I'd be personally more excited about news that would change the world for the better. 

Back to the Trekkie thing.  I'm not a Trekkie geek, but I am a Harry Potter one.   One thing I couldn't help but notice is that Bin Laden died on May 2.  Voldemort (the big bad villain in Harry Potter's world) supposedly died on May 2 as well.  I just googled and saw that other people noticed too.    Well, I shouldn't be surprised.   

2. Saw an interesting variety of Aussie responses to Bin Laden's death via Facebook.    One had tears. Another had the Go USA attitude.  And another thought America caused 9/11 and Bin Laden is just an innocent scapegoat.   

An American expressed regret that Bin Laden had died instead of repenting through Christ. I asked, why does the redemption need to come via Christianity?  Why not Islam, Judaism, Atheism, Buddhism, etc?  

I do think it's better for the villain to change over to the good side.   I love stories like that.  But has it ever happened in history?  Has there ever been a mass murderer like Bin Laden or Hitler who later regretted what he did and then tried to make amends?  I was trying to think of whether there's been any in fiction, and then remembered Darth Vader. He'd probably count. Right?

3. Received annoying response from some Christians about my Bin Laden Question.  Basically, the message I'm getting from them is that it doesn't matter whether you're good or bad. It just matters whether or not you believe in Jesus. Jesus is the truth; and that is that.

Yeah.   I have a hard time tolerating this type of attitude.

4. Read another article about the rising worth of the Aussie dollar, and how it's causing problems for Australians.  It's funny because I've felt guilty in the past when I wished for the Aussie dollar to be worth much less than the American dollar.   I didn't imagine that what I selfishly feared for my own family could also cause problems for Australians.

There are benefits to having the Australian dollar be worth more than the American one.  It's cheaper for Australians to travel to America, and buy from America.  It's cheaper to travel to other countries as well.  I think there other benefits. Something with mining maybe?   I think I read that.  I'm not interested enough to try to understand it though.  

It does seem like there's more negatives though.  Australians will get less international business because it's getting too expensive.  That's not the only thing though. Australians themselves are rejecting Australian businesses because it's cheaper to shop/go elsewhere.

So what do you do in a situation like this?   Do you let the Aussie dollar keep climbing? Is there a way to stop it?  Or do you just let it go, and figure things will work out in the end?  

5. Read article about a cancer study in Australia that shows drinking alcohol is a cancer-causing activity.   It's funny to read this because I was thinking this weekend about how my family is so obsessive about thinness, dieting, and exercise.  To them....Thin= health and goodness.   But as my family frets about eating too much dessert or the wrong type of dessert, they have no problems indulging in a bottle of wine.   Okay, and that's not to say they don't eat dessert.   Despite my family's best intentions, they often indulge in too much eating.   But they express guilt and regret over this.   Eating too much is naughty and unhealthy.  It's wicked.  It seems to me that I don't as often hear them saying, I shouldn't drink so much or I really need to be more careful about spending so much time in the sun.  They frequently judge others in the family for eating too much and not exercising enough.   I rarely hear anyone complaining that someone has drank too much. They talk about it, but usually in a joking/amused type way.  

This is what I believe. My family tries to pretend it's all about health.  They don't care what people look like.  They just want everyone to be healthy.  But I don't think that's true.  I think the simple truth is they prefer the look of thin people.    

6. Realized suddenly that America has probably ruined the whole tradition of burial-at-sea.  Now it's going to be associated with what's done to terrorists.

I think they should have saved the body and used it for medical research.   And how about donating some of those organs?   We could say, who'd want the heart, liver, and kidney of Bin Laden?  Well, if it was a choice between living and dying, I'd be okay with having bits of Bin Laden in my body.    Who knows though.  Maybe they did remove some organs before throwing the corpse out to sea.

7.  Finished reading the Prosperous Thief at the doctor's office.   It was very suspenseful towards the end; and I kind of rushed through the last few pages so I could find out what happened. Then I kind of felt like I was left hanging.  

8. Started reading Perfect Skin by Nick Earls.   It's good so far.   I started reading this at the doctor's.   It was hard to quickly switch from one book to another.   Then I was also a bit too nervous to read, so I didn't get far.  I pretty much just sat there waiting, waiting, and thinking about stuff. 

9. Decided to watch more of the Offspring pilot.  

Cherie's water just broke.  Wow.

Oh!  I love this part.  Cherie (Deborah Mailman) is in labor pains.  She says she wants to track down every patient they've ever had and apologize for not taking their pain serious enough.  Sometimes it's hard to have empathy if you've never been through something personally.   And I think also maternity doctors and nurses see women in labor so often they become desensitized; been there, done that, not that big of a deal.  Well, it may not be a big deal for them, but it usually is a huge deal for the new parents.

Wow.  There was some shocking drama in that video regarding the father of Cherie's baby.  

10. Consulted Lord Wiki about Andrea Goldsmith, the author of The Prosperous Thief.    She's Jewish and a lesbian.  A lot of characters in the novel are Jewish, and two are lesbians.

11. Read scary and sad news about South Australian man dying of Encephalitis.  He got it from a mosquito bite.  I'm really bad about using bug repellent, and now I feel a bit worried and guilty.  

I need to put it in perceptive though.  It's not an epidemic....yet.  

12. Looked at Federation Gothic buildings on the Sydney Architecture site.  I think this might be something I like as well.  

You know, I seriously doubt I'll be able to ever understand and memorize all these building types.   I mean I don't think I'll get to the point where I can look at a building and identify what type of architecture was used.

Oh well.

Anyway, I really like Maclaurin Hall.   I guess I've already been to it's page on the architecture site, because the link is purple instead of blue.

13. Liked this bit from Perfect Skin.   After work I go to Cole's supermarket.   At the start of the day I was carrying a list of things to buy, but it's elsewhere now.   And when I lose my list I usually buy toilet paper, just to be sure.  Sometimes I end up with an awful lot of toilet paper, but I never run out.

It sounds like a good plan to me!

I have a joke with Tim.  He'll head off to the store and ask me if I need anything.  I say something like, I probably do, and I'll tell you once you get back from the store.  That's when I'll remember what I needed. 

14. Loved this part from Perfect Skin.  There's so much good stuff on this page (21).  I can't quote all of it.   I wish I could. 

The protagonist Jon is the single father of a six month old baby.  He talks about how this experience has changed him.  It's a critical age for communication-I have a book that says that-so you find yourself verbalizing any thought that comes into your head, so that she gets to learn what words are about.   You wander around the house talking about trees and birds and dog hair.   About putting that dirty plate in the dishwasher.  About tucking your own shirt in.  All without any inhibitions.  

Jon talks about how it's hard to turn all this off, including news flashes about our toileting activities.   And he sings a lot.

It reminds me a lot of me.  And this might explain why I've turned into this person that sings all the time.  It may have been because of Jack.   I sang to him a lot when he was a baby.  Although I also sang a lot the year before, in one of my preschool teaching jobs. 

As for the toileting thing, I've mentioned before that at home we're quite explicit about our activities.  We usually say things like, I have to pee.   And I recently had an experience of forgetting that there's a public way of saying things and a private way of saying things.   We were at a restaurant for a whole-family dinner.   The waiter was at our table...maybe taking drink orders?  I said, I need to pee.   Then I quickly realized what I had said, and how inappropriate that was.   Fortunately, the restaurant was loud and I kind of just mumbled it.  He may not have heard me.  Well, my sisters didn't give me grief about it so I'm doubting they heard me.   If they didn't hear me, the waiter probably didn't hear either. 

15. Looked at recipes in our old vegetarian cookbook.  I then saw a recipe using rocket, and got the idea that the book might be Australian.   I looked at the front pages and saw it was published by Murdoch books.   By then it seemed pretty likely the book was Australian, but I checked the back just in case.  It was published in Sydney.   Once I knew, I wondered why I hadn't noticed before.   First of all, the first recipe I saw when I opened the book tonight was a beetroot salad.   Beetroot definitely makes me think of Australia.  Then I saw another recipe that involved pumpkin.   American savory dishes don't often involve pumpkin.  Well, they do but we call it squash.  And the book also says capsicum instead of red/green pepper. 

I think it's cool that we had this book all these years, and I never realized it was Australian.   It's kind of like when I found out Thaao Penghlis was from Sydney.