Saturday, May 21, 2011

Puppets, Koalingo Academy, Tallygarunga, and Continuation

1. Received bad news. I'm hoping it's not true.  I was looking for photos of the Puppet Shop in Sydney.  For my Harry Potter/Magic is Might blog, I was going to put the gateway to the Australian wizarding village in there.  Anyway, one of the photos on Flickr says the shop closed January 2011.  

2. Saw that the puppet shop website is still up. Maybe the photo is wrong?  Hopefully!

3. Looked at this website.  They also say it's closed.  I hope they're wrong or I'm reading the information wrong.

Am I in denial?  

4. Found a whole Harry Potter role-playing site that uses Australia as a setting.  It's called Koalingo Academy.  They put their wizarding village in Thredbo. That's in New South Wales, right?

Okay.  Yeah.  Lord Wiki confirms that.  It's in the Snowy Mountains. 

I'm trying to figure out where the school is supposed to be located.  Maybe Thredbo as well?

I think I'm going to keep my little village in Sydney.

6. Confused by the history of Koalingo Academy.   It could be that I'm not reading it carefully enough.   I'm skimming a bit.   They talk about these old wizarding societies.  I'm not sure if they're supposed to have originated elsewhere, and then the wizards moved to Australia.  Or are they talking about Australia?   But it doesn't connect at all with Australia's real history.   It doesn't sound at all like a country that's just recently been inhabited by white people.  And there's no sense of Aboriginal culture in the history.

Or maybe when the site refers to Muggles in these bygone days, they're referring to Aboriginal Muggles.

No, I don't think so.  I read it more carefully.  It sounds all very Europeanish.  I guess we're supposed to imagine European wizards arrived in Australia centuries before Muggle Europeans.  

One part says, Godric Emerindyl was actually born in 1788 A.D. Though when he was born, it was to a loving mother and father. In these days Elwyn and Sylvia had been running Koalingo for close to eight hundred years.

This baby name site says Godric is a Old English name.   Yeah.  I didn't think it was Aboriginal.

I'd be much more impressed with the fictional history if it involved the Aboriginal Dreamtime and/or it talked about European Wizards traveling over from Europe.

It's a very creative website. I'm very impressed with it on that aspect.  I guess, as a fan of Australia, I wish it had more Aussie spirit.

7. Decided I'm going to keep my fictional world separate from the Koalingo fictional world. I like my idea of a wizarding village in the Rocks.

8. Found another Australian Wizarding World. This one is called Tallygarunga.  I just skimmed very quickly; but it definitely has more Aussie spirit. It looks REALLY cute.

From what I can see, it's supposed to take place mainly in Victoria.

9. Started reading the Tallygarunga FAQ page and it's making me a bit emotional.  They emphasise the Australia aspect of their story.  Their school isn't in a castle.  It's at a sheep farm.   They don't start in September.  They start in late January.

I'm very impressed with this website.

10. Struggled to decide if I should connect my story to the Tallygarunga story; or if I should just create my own little world.

Well....I think I'll just stick with my own because Tallygarunga is very complex.   I think I would need hours upon hours to study it and understand it.   I don't think I want to get that much into all of this.   Plus, I might get myself dragged into another role-playing thing.  I kind of want to be done with all of it after the Magic is Might Experience. 

11. Decided maybe I'll allude to Tallygarunga at some point.  That would be a good balance.   I can acknowledge it's existence, and pay homage to it's creative brilliance.   But at the same time, I can have the freedom to create my own....well, it's not my own universe.   It's JK Rowling's universe.   But I have the freedom to create my own world within that universe.

Yeah.  I like that idea.

12. Looked at the clock and saw we had 45 minutes until the world begins to end in New Zealand.

Hey, what happens to all the wizards during the apocalypse?  I have a feeling Jesus is going to reject all of them—even Harry, Ron, and Hermione.

I guess I'm to believe that Albus Dumbeldore ended up in hell.  Not only did he fail to accept Jesus Christ as his savior, but he's gay.

13. Felt some sadness that most of my family doesn't know more about my life, especially the Australia stuff.  Is that centered of me?  I don't know.  But most of them don't know:

A) Why and how I first became obsessed with Australia.
B) That I love Offspring.
C) That I struggled between Adelaide and Hobart; canceled both cities, then canceled the whole trip, and then changed my mind again.
D) That I have created and spent a lot of time on my British wizards in Australia story.  
E) The story about me becoming very scared on the plane ride home from Australia.
F) That I was treating horribly by some Aussie women bloggers and that I often blab on and on about it on my blog.  
G) That we fed lions, tigers, and bears in Australia; and we weren't quite expecting that to happen.
H) That we found an Australian restaurant in Texas and it was extremely awful.   

There's probably lots of other stuff.  And there's probably stuff about them that I don't know. We're extremely close in some ways.  Emails are exchanged almost every day. During the summer we spend almost every weekend together. But in other ways, we're not close.

14. Remembered that I was supposed to check if New Zealand and Earthquake had done the rapture thing.  I'm not seeing any mention of earthquakes or disappearing Christians on Facebook. I'm thinking it was a false alarm.

15. Loved reading all of the Rapture posts on Facebook.   They're very entertaining.  

16. Felt sorrow and sympathy for family, friends, and fans of Bill Hunter.

17.  Read article that says Julia Gillard has accepted a letter from anti-gay marriage folks, but she refuses to meet with supporters of same-sex marriage.  I'm hoping the article is exaggerated, that it's sensationalising the situation.   

I'm not going to criticise her for accepting a letter.  It's fine for her to hear from people with whom I disagree.

Is she really refusing to meet with supporters of same-sex marriage?  If that's so, it's extremely shameful.   But maybe she just hasn't made time for them yet?  Or maybe she's refused a meeting with certain supporters?  I don't know.  I guess I'm just really hoping that this article isn't completely true.

18.  Read article that says Gillard did a keynote speech at the Victorian Labor Party Conference.   She completely avoided the topic of gay marriage. Well, I guess I can't blame her.   What else could she say that wouldn't make her continue to sound prejudice, hypocritical, and irrational?  

Returning to the topic above. If supporters of gay marriage tried to give Gillard a letter with signatures, would she accept that?  Would she refuse to read it?    Is she treating both sides fairly?   Is she really so much against gay marriage that she'd willingly hear from the anti-gay marriage side, but refuses to listen to the supporters of gay marriage?  If that's true, it's insane.  But I'm hoping it's not true.

19. Read another article about the Victorian Labor Party Conference.   There were supposed to be votes about gay marriage and gay adoption, but there were not enough attendees for the votes to take place. There were accusations from the left faction of the party against the right faction of the party.   They felt people deliberately left so there wouldn't be enough people to do a vote.  The requirement for voting is 152 delegates, and only 147 were there.

The voting motion was supposed to be about whether or not the Labor Party would add the gay issues to their Federal Platform.

Well, maybe they can vote again later?

20.  Read article that talks about the Baillieu government scrapping the requirement to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land.  Many Aboriginal Australians are angry about this.

I had no idea this was required. I always thought people were doing it by choice.   I thought it was really nice...and the right thing to do.   It's very respectful.  It doesn't change the horrors of the past.   It doesn't make everything okay.  But I do think it makes things a little bit better.  

It's sad that the Baillieu government wants to get rid of the rule, but hopefully people will choose to do it anyway, even if it's not mandatory.

21.  Wondered how many people actually believed the world would end.   I was slightly open-minded to the possibility.   I try not to be too zealous with disbelief.   But...I do wonder if there were many people who had faith that they'd be raptured.   I didn't see any believers on Facebook, at least not ones who were vocal about it.  Maybe some were quietly believing?

22.  Read article that says drunk rainbow lorikeets are falling from the sky in Darwin.  Apparently they do this every May.  There's a belief that they get some kind of alcohol-type drink from some plant.


They're very beautiful birds.  I could love Australia for the birds alone...even when they're drunk.   

23.  Read disturbing article about how the average age for girl's starting puberty is getting lower.   More and more ten and eleven-year-olds are getting their periods.   

Then again...I think I was early.   I'm pretty sure I got my period in 6th grade.   The article talks about this as being young for menstruation. 

The article says, The implications of earlier puberty can be profound: shortened childhood, earlier sexualisation, potential for younger sexual experiences and decreased self-esteem.

Let's see....

I'm 38, and still having my childhood.   I play Harry Potter games.   I'd rather have an ice-cream cone than a glass of wine.   I love children's music and sometimes read children's books.   My childhood is still here, and it will probably be here until I die.

I didn't kiss anyone until I was 18, and I didn't have sex until I was 19.   I'm not sure at what age I had this sexualisation thing.   I'm pretty sure I've always had decreased self-esteem, but I don't think that happened because my period came early.

24. Took a walk around the lake house.  It's really hot outside.  We're here alone this weekend, although Tim's friend is coming later.  It's kind of peaceful, but maybe later we'll get lonely.   Next weekend will be full and rowdy.  The whole family will be here, plus our friends, Greg and Karen.

25.  Returned to the Tallygarunga Page.   It looks so fun.  I want to read more of it.

They're in 2011 rather than the past.   The Magic is Might Experience is in January 1998 right now.    I like that they have a huge list of guidelines, including how to role play.     The Magic is Might Experience provided very little information and guidelines in the beginning.   They just started the game and then began scolding, criticising, and threatening to ban people as the game progressed.    Then again, Tallygarunga might have started in the same way.   Then later they may have added the guidelines.   I guess it's kind of like my blog.   I didn't start with any commenting rules, but as I started to have various experiences through blogging, ideas for rules came to mind.

I suppose sometimes we don't know what's going to bother us until they happen.   So I'll try to give The Magic is Might staff some benefit of the doubt.   On the other hand, I do think they should have provided some beginning rules about what's acceptable in role-playing and what's not.  

26. Looked at the staff descriptions of Tallygarunga.   The founder of the site is Australian and says, I'm an expert on Australiana (you'd hope so, right?), passing along the stories and facts about my country is a passion. I don't expect everyone to know everything, but I'm more than happy to teach members whatever needs to be known.   I think I could love this guy....or woman.   I'm pretty sure it's a man...well, because there's a male icon photo near his profile.   But you never know. It  could be a woman playing a male character.  

There's some other Australians on staff, but also some Americans and a Canadian.

The more I read about this Tallygarunga thing, the more I'm loving it. I love all their staff and member guidelines.  At least from what I'm reading, it seem like a community that strives to be kind, fair, and inclusive.  

27. Tempted to join this Tallygarunga thing.   It's something I might have to consider....maybe after the Magic is Might Experience is over.    I could use the descendants of my MIM characters as my characters.  Tallygarunga says they're in need of some younger characters. 

Well, I did some calculations.  My characters would have to be having some young pregnancies in order for me to create a kid who's eleven in 2011.

I can kind of see that happening, actually.

28. Saw that there is a wide range of character possibilities.   I could give my characters a not-so-young pregnancy and have their children attend St Andrews Magical and Muggle Primary.   This website is really so incredibly adorable.

I think these may totally be my people.   It's what I had envisioned for my characters.   I imagined them starting some program to promote peace and understanding between wizards and Muggles.  

29. Saw Tallygarunga's version of vampires.   They sound a bit like the Twilight version of vampires, so maybe Tallygarunga isn't as zealously anti-Twilight as The Magic is Might Experience people.  

Actually, the vampires remind me a little bit of the Cullen family, and a LOT of Sims 3 vampires.

Oh...never mind.  These are Dhampirs....the result of human and vampire liaisons.  Tallygarunga also has vampire vampires.

30. Looked at the list of characters needed by Tallygarunga.   At first I thought, Oh crap...because they want more Aussie characters.   They do NOT want more British characters.   But then I remembered the children of my Magic is Might characters would be Australian.  My British teens would stay in Australia, become citizens, and their children would be Australian.   Plus, their grandfather was born and raised in Australia.

31. Glad to see that none of my characters are Mary Sue characters.   These are very attractive characters with tragic pasts that everyone loves.  My characters have had relatively easy lives minus some minor exciting drama.  One is too skinny, the other is close to being overweight. Neither of them have many friends.

This page of the site talks about how tragic pasts and orphaned characters are overdone.   I think there are MANY orphans on Magic is Might.  I kind of felt guilty and left out for having characters with two living and caring parents.   Now I feel a bit better.  

30.  Thought that even though I am totally loving this Tallygarunga thing, I might not want to play.   It looks complicated.   I'll consider it though.   Maybe in the next several months, I'll do some lurking and figure out if I want to play.

31. Decided to watch a bit more of the season 2 Offspring premiere.

The masturbation scene is fun and adorable.

32. Decided Billie Proudman is now one of my favorite fictional characters.   I didn't like her too much at first; but she has grown on me.

33. Wished my stomach would stop hurting so I could pig out on chocolate.  There's a lot here at the lake house, left over from the Mother's Day waffle bar.

34. Learned that the Tallygarunga creator/boss is NOT a guy.   It says on this page that he is a she.    Man...woman...whatever.   I'm already a bit in love.   How could I not love someone who loves Australia, Harry Potter, and works so hard to make sure people are nice to each other, and everyone feels welcomed?    This website has me completely enchanted.    Of course, since I'm skeptical, I'm waiting to be disillusioned.

35.  Decided while writing out a conversation between my Muggle teen and her witchy sister that I probably won't participate in the Tallygarunga thing.   Tallygarunga uses a role-playing technique where people write about their characters in third person.   I may be wrong, but I think this might need/use heavy setting and action descriptions.  Those types of things are definitely not my strong point when it comes to writing.  I think I'm better at writing dialogue, and epistolary type stuff.