Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cleaning, Changing, Hunting, and Gathering

1. Continued to read Isobelle Carmody's Alyzon Whitestarr.  I'm loving it, and I'm all caught up in the big mystery.  The basic premise is that Alyzon gains the ability to smell people's essence; kind of like their soul.  It's similar to seeing an aura.  Some people smell really good and some people smell really awful. And why do these people smell awful?   I don't know yet.  I'm going to keep reading so I can find out.

2. Read article that says a couple from Hong Kong tried to smuggle lizards out of Western Australia.   The good news is they were caught.

I think it's sad when a wild animal gets kidnapped...especially if they're mistreated and/or taken out of the country.

Thirty-one animals were found in the raid.  Hopefully, they'll all get to go back to their homes.

3. Saw Lisa Hill's blog post about Australian books she recommended for another book blog.  She provides the list of books on her blog too. I'm going to look through it to see if there's anything that interests me.  Then I can add those books to my list of books and authors to look out for.

4. Watched the most recent video on the Follow The Yellow Brick Road Facebook Page.  They're in the Northern Territory now. The route for the video was Elcho Island to South Goulburn Island.

I just looked at Google Maps.  South Goulburn Island is east of Darwin.  

5. Went to the Follow The Yellow Brick Road website to see how the auction for polio is doing.   Sadly, it looks like they didn't get any bids for the journey in the video I just watched; and they didn't get any bids for the days before and after that. 

There's an auction open for July 6.   It's Port Hedland to Dampier. I guess they're ahead of schedule because the original travel date for that journey was July 10.  

There's some high bids for future traveling dates. That's good. Someone's paying 2750 to take the boat from Gregory Caravan Park to Geraldton.  

6. Read sad article about dead sea turtle who was found with 300 pieces of plastic in his system. 

Why does so much plastic end up in the ocean?

Well, the article says it's coming from stormwater drainage.  So, then the question, is why does so much plastic end up in stormwater drains?

I'm guessing it's litter.  People leave their plastic outside and then it's carried away in the storm.

What I wonder is how much litter occurs because people are too lazy to get up and throw things in the trash or recycling bin; and how much litter occurs from things escaping the bins. In Sydney, I saw an Ibis digging into the trash and making a mess.  I'm sure that wasn't a completely rare occurrence. 

I'm thinking it might not just be a matter of encouraging people to dispose of their rubbish.  It's also probably important to make sure bins are emptied often enough so they're not overflowing.

7. Remembered other good ways to reduce the plastic in the ocean. The basic one is to stop using so much plastic. Then there's also cleaning up the litter outside.  I need to go and do that someday.

8. Went to the Clean Up Australia website.  There's an article about reducing the use of plastic bags.   I'm usually good at remembering to bring a reusable bag.  The problem is, Tim's the one who usually does the shopping, and he's not as good at remembering.  On a positive note—Our plastic bags probably don't end up in the ocean.  We don't usually throw them out.  We keep them in our pantry.  Every so often I'll use the them; usually for throwing away the paper towels I use to clean up cat vomit.  We also use bags for shoes when we pack.   I'm picky about stuff like that. I don't like dirty shoes touching clean clothes; so I throw them in a bag.

9. Saw article about the best pies in Sydney.  I'm excited because, Tim's going to try to make pies for our weekend at the lake house. Each week, my dad grills some meat. Then Tim's responsible for making a vegetarian dish.  It ends up being a main dish for me and my sister and a side dish for the other people. 

Tim's not going to do any meat pies, since there's already grilled meat on the menu. It's just going to be vegetarian stuff.  Hopefully, they'll turn out great. I think they will. He's good at making fruit pies; and he also makes a chicken-pot pie (and vegetarian version) that's REALLY good.  I'm not sure if he's going to do anything different for the pies this weekend besides changing the fillings.  I saw him looking at Australia pie websites, so I think he's trying to make it as Australian as possible.  

10. Read article about sex education for children.  A group called the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health, and Society says parents should start teaching their kids about sex at age two.

I might agree with them depending on what they mean. I think sitting most two-year-olds down for a lecture on the mechanics of sex is going to be a waste of time.  I doubt that's what they're suggesting, though.  I think it's more about not shying away from correct anatomy terms.   I think children should know from early on that boys have a penis and a scrotum and girls have a vulva and vagina. We have always used correct terminology with Jack. I remember someone in my family being shockingly embarrassed when we used the term uterus in front of him.

I think Jack learned about sexual intercourse when he was four; mostly from watching me play the Sims.  I had to do some more explaining to augment the lesson, because the Sims doesn't give details on what goes on under the covers.    

I like that Jack is comfortable talking to me, and asking me questions. I like that we have these discussions, so I can shove my viewpoints down his throat.  I do stress my belief that sex is enjoyable; but that it's better to have sex when you're older, because there's the risk of pregnancy.   We haven't talked much about disease yet.  He's heard of AIDS, but I don't know if he knows that it's sexually transmitted.  

11. Went to the website for the Australian Research Centre in Sex Health and Society. 

12. Interrupted by Jack who wanted medicine for a cut on his finger. While I helped him with that, I asked him if he knew how people got AIDS.  And yes.  He knew it was transmitted through sex. We haven't yet talked about other risk factors such as bad needles. Since he hates shots, I'm not too worried about him becoming a heroin addict.

I may have already talked to him about heroin, probably when I was reading Candy.  I sometimes forget what subjects we've covered.  He has the good memory, not me.  

13. Read article on the Australian Research Centre in Sex Health and Society. It's about secondary teachers teaching sex education. Almost half of them are nervous to talk about certain subjects because of suspected reactions by the community. I don't blame them, really. You never know how people are going to react to their kids learning about certain things... such as homosexuality.  Some people are very open with their kids about things, and some are very uptight about it. Some parents are embarrassed to even talk about breastfeeding in front of their kids.  How would these parents react if you tried to teach their young teens about homosexuality?

But it's so important for these kids to hear about it, especially if they're not going to learn from their own parents.

The article says what teachers need is more support.   If they feel they're backed up by the school and community, I imagine it would be easier to talk to the students.   

The teachers in the survey also expressed a wish that the subject was begun earlier with the children.   I guess children are coming to them a bit too ignorant, and the teachers have too many gaps to fill.  

14. Went to Tallygarunga.   Today I'm going to read the posts that were added to Find An Orbit Closer To The Ground.  This is the story thread about the massive family dinner party.  It's been awhile since I've read it, and I'm not exactly sure where I left off.  I know I read Jezebel's post. I'm not sure if I read the next one, which is Mereditha's.   I'll just read it.  If it ends up that I read it twice, no harm done.  

There's stuff from Améa's viewpoint here. I can't remember if I've read it or not, but I can relate to it.   With anger, liquefied outrage that threatened to spill out at any moment. All she wanted to do was live the rest of her life in peace, hide away in her black-walled room with the only person she could depend on: herself. 

I feel that way sometimes. I don't want to literally hide.  And I don't have a black-walled room.  For me, it's more about keeping my feelings to myself and refusing to put my trust in people.  I feel safe opening up in my blog but not at all safe opening up in front of individuals. I do it sometimes and it makes me feel very vulnerable, especially if I end up revealing a lot.

Okay.  I did read this post. I remember now.  It had a very romantic part about Mereditha still loving Adrian.

I'm guessing already blabbed on and on about relating to Améa. What can I say? It's in my nature to be repetitive.  

15.  Started to read the next post which belongs to Thomas Blair.  He sounds pretty typical.   There's a big family fight between these women in his life; Améa, Tamarah, and Jezebel. Thomas seems to care less about the drama between them and more about how he's being treated.  I'm sure we all do that sometimes.  I know I do. When someone is in a nasty mood, it's hard to step back sometimes and think, they're going through a rough time.  They're not mad at me. Sometimes we care more about people's behavior than we care about their feelings.

I'm thinking this is probably the way in which I'm most self-centered.  If someone takes a long time to write me back, it's because they don't like me anymore or they're mad. If someone is in a bad mood, it's because I've done something wrong. If people aren't giving me enough attention, it's because they feel I'm not worth their attention.  I have to push myself to remember that sometimes people are busy, and sometimes they're in bad moods for other reasons.

I push myself to remember these things, but usually it doesn't work.  

16. Started to read David's post.  He's mad because Adele threw this whole party because it was her birthday.  But she didn't tell anyone. I'm guessing some of them did know her birthday was around this time. They're her family. Shouldn't family know those things? 

If it's close to her birthday, maybe they should have known without her saying anything.  OR maybe she doesn't know her birthday, so she just picks a random day as her birthday.  I just looked at her biography again.    It says, The exact circumstances surrounding Adele's birth are unknown even to her.  That could mean she's unsure of what day she was born.  Still. I'm guessing she knows the general time-period.

This is probably a bit foreign to me because birthdays are usually big deals in my family.  If my sister suddenly invited us to a party in the beginning of October, someone would likely say, Hey, while we're there, let's celebrate your birthday.  Or we'd surprise her with a cake and some gifts.  

17. Decided to read the biography of David Tallenery.  I hope I haven't read it already. He's played by Lolo, who is the same person who plays Reade Ainsworth.  I think she also does Adrian. Let me go check....

Yep.  She does both of them.  I wonder if she has any other characters.....

18. Wondered if I've already read about David.  He's a nurse at Melbourne Hospital. I remember talking about a character that worked there.

Yeah!   I think I did talk about him.   He works at the hospital, and Adele was interested in him coming to work at Tally as a school nurse.

Maybe I'll read the biography again though.  I skimmed through, and some of it seems new to me. I don't remember knowing that David is bisexual.

I could have gotten the nursing information from the story thread and not the biography.

But if I repeat myself, you have my apologies......

19. Started reading the biography.

David is handsome.  He drinks a lot and is promiscuous.

Actually, it doesn't say he drinks a lot.  I'm adding words here.  It just says,  Despite his drinking and promiscuity he looks after himself well and does not look 43. Well, I get the impression that he's more than a moderate drinker; but I could be wrong.

20. Felt that David is a bit like my dad.  His hair is still all brown.  It took my dad a long time to get any gray hair.  I don't know when he started getting them.    He still has a lot of brown hair, though, and he's in his sixties. As far as I know, he doesn't dye it.  

21. Learned that David dresses casually—jeans and a t-shirt, unless told otherwise.

Okay, and I was right about the drinking.  However you look at it, he certainly likes to have a good time, and to David that means sleeping around and getting drunk whenever possible.

He doesn't believe in relationships.  I guess that was written before he got together with Adele.  Although I'm not sure if they're extremely together or not. I don't remember how cohesive the relationship is.  

22. Learned that David and Adrian (they're brothers) were born to a witch mother and muggle father.   Their parents later got divorced.  The mother turned to drinking. David ended up having to provide parenting for his brother, and he grew protective of him.

23. Learned more about the relationship between David and Adele. They met at Adrian's wedding to Mereditha.  They lived together for awhile, but then their relationship was hurt when Adrian and Mereditha lost their baby.  David took it pretty hard.

24. Learned that David's toddler daughter Chrissy is not Adele's daughter too.  She came about from a one night stand.

I'm guessing Adele and David eventually got back together. I got the idea from the Find An Orbit Closer To The Ground story thread that they lived together. I'll go back and skim through it.  

Okay yeah.   It does seem that they live in the same house.  

25. Saw Tim working on the pies.  He says he's just using his usual recipe.  He thinks (and probably learned) that Australian pies use a puff pasty.

Yeah.  This recipe for Australian meat pie calls for puff pastry.

Lord Wiki says puff pastry is used in turnovers, pies, sausage rolls, strudel, and some other stuff.  

I think Tim is using a recipe for pot pie; so it's going to be more American than Australian.

26. Started to read chapter fifteen of Fruitcake's blog.  

She has some very interesting points here.   She talks about the White Australia Policy, and says part of it came from racism.  But another part of it comes from the fear that foreigners will accept lower wages.  I guess white foreigners are more likely to demand higher wages.

The fear's still there. People today fear immigrants, because they're afraid of losing jobs to them.  Still though. I think racism plays a big part in it as well.

And maybe the fear of losing jobs adds to the racist feelings.

Fear and racism go hand in hand.  

27. Liked what Fruitcake says here.  There were massacres of Chinese diggers on the goldfields. In part, this antipathy may have been the result of the Chinese’ tendency to keep to themselves, though I suspect they kept to themselves because they knew they weren’t wanted.    I think that happens a lot...both in group relationships and individual relationships.  We dislike people who act distant, and they act distant because they think we don't like them. It's hard to know where it begins.

Although sometimes I think groups stick to themselves because they feel this is how it should be. I know some Jews are that way.  It's okay to have casual gentile friends.  But your serious relationships, especially your marriage, needs to be with other Jews.

I don't think Jews are the only group like that. And not everyone within an ethnic group is going to be that way.

The isolation is partly about expecting to be rejected, but it's also partly about rejecting the mainstream group.

28. Continued to read Fruitcake's chapter.  She talks about Paul Hasluck who was the Minister of Territories.  His name sounds familiar. Maybe I've written about him before?  Or maybe I ran into his name somewhere.   I don't know.

Hasluck talked about a new assimilation policy that appeared in 1951.  The basic idea was that the color of your skin didn't matter.  What mattered is how you acted—your culture.  And the only culture acceptable was white culture. If you acted white, you'd be free.

Fruitcake says:

We might (quite rightly) interpret the Ordinance as patronising and interfering, or even promoting exploitation. It certainly showed whites were determined Aboriginals should abandon any trace of Aboriginal beliefs, practices or identity, so a cultural form of genocide was to continue.
On the other hand, if it had been implemented by people of good will and in the right spirit, the Ordinance might have been more constructive than it turned out to be.

Yeah.  I interpret the policy in a very negative way.  I'm not sure how anyone can deprive someone of their culture while being in the right spirit.  Of course it's one of those we meant well type things.    It's like the parents who put their boys in therapy because they were too feminine.  I'm sure they meant no harm. They loved their children. 

What happens though when you're pressured to give up who you are and become something you're not?  Does that ever feel good?  Is it ever fair?   

I mean we all push for change in people a little bit.  I wish Jack helped with cleaning more. I push that a bit.  I wish it wasn't such a chore to get him to try new books.   I might push that a bit.   I push him to stick with projects and not abandon them so easily.  I think it's fine to help people build on their strengths and work on their weaknesses.  It's not okay to want to completely change someone; to demand that they give up their identity.     

It's like the child who wants to be a writer, and the parents insist that he become a doctor. That's sad.
When you forbid someone from following their culture or following their dreams not only are you causing them grief by subtracting something important from their life. But you're also rejecting them. You're saying their culture and/or dreams are inferior.     

Saying "we mean well" really doesn't excuse us from bad behavior; nor does it mean we were in the right spirit despite the wrongs we did. 

Sometimes bad things are caused by people who mean harm.  But often bad things are caused by people who meant no harm.  It's just they weren't thinking, or their actions were clouded by egocentrism and selfishness. The innocent or good intentions of the ones who caused harm doesn't always diminish the pain in the victim.  I think this is especially true if there're more excuses and justifications than apologies and attempts to make amends.  

29. Saw Tim was watching The Crazies.  I remembered it from my blog research, so I went to see which Australian was in it.

The answer: Radha Mitchell.

Tim talked about how he didn't know she was Australian until he saw Rogue.  He made a remark about Australians being good at faking the American accent.

I don't think the American accent is easier than the Australian accent. I think America uses a lot of international actors, and they often demand these actors use an American accent.  How often does does the Australian film industry hire an American and demand that they use an Australian accent?

Then there's also the fact that Australians watch a lot of American television.  I'm sure many Australians are exposed to American accents from a very young age.   It's probably easier to pick up accents if you've heard them since you were a child.   It's not a full proof method, though. Jack has had a lot of exposure to Aussie accents.  He hasn't picked up the accent in any way.  

30. Decided to watch the trailer for The Crazies.

I remember it being really scary.  The bits I saw of the movie were less scary, but that's probably because I wasn't giving it my full attention.  I was doing laundry, talking to Jack, talking to Tim, etc.  I mean it wasn't even scary enough to disturb Jack.  At one point the movie made a lot of noise and Jack turned in its direction.   I told him not to watch and then paused it.  I don't want him traumatized.  But I think it's one of those movies that are scary only if you sit and actually watch it.
Or we might have just ended up seeing the scenes that were less scary.   Even The Exorcist has non-creepy moments, as illustrated in this re-edited trailer.   

31. Went back to watching The Crazies trailer. 

Radha Mitchell kind of looks like Rebecca De Mornay.

I think the scariest part of the trailer is at 1:00.   

32. Decided that for now on I'm going to embed videos instead of just linking to them.  I think maybe it will be easier?  Hopefully, it won't be annoying.

It might get annoying if there's too many videos.  I don't know.

The idea came into my head a few weeks ago, when I read the Doc Jenson's Lost thing.   He embeds the videos. That way if you want to watch, you can watch, but at the same time continue reading.  You can multi-task.

If it annoys you, please email me or leave a message on my Facebook Page.    If at least five people say they don't like it, I'll stop doing it.  If someone specifically speaks up and says they DO like it, then I'll subtract one of the votes of the people who don't like it.

33. Saw from the Australian Dictionary of Biography that my Australian of the day is Mary Barr Mackinlay.   She was a Dominican Sister.  That's a nun, I believe.   

Mary was born in 1910, in Temora, New South Wales.

34. Looked up Temora on Google Maps.   It's an hour north of Wagga Wagga.  

35. Learned that Mary had six siblings; two of them were adopted.  I wonder how that happened.  Did the parents seek out children to adopt, or did an opportunity come to them?  

As a child, Mary went to a one teacher bush school.  She enjoyed that.   Then when she was a teenager she was sent to learn at a Dominican Convent.   I'm not sure why. Was it a typical school, and she happened to go there because her mother was Catholic. Or did Mary have an early interest in being a nun?

Mary did well in school; especially English Literature.

She later got a degree from the University of Sydney. Then she did the nun thing.

36. Learned that Mary's religious name was Sister Alphonse Marie.

She was a teacher nun, and it seems she was well-liked by students.

That's about it.

37. Decided to watch more videos from the email full of recommended videos.

This one is Holy Grail by Hunters and Collectors

It sounds vaguely familiar.

Then there's Hunters and Collector's When The River Runs Dry.   

This one sounds less familiar to me.

The woman at 4:25 reminds me of the scary woman in The Crazies trailer.

38. Started to watch the third recommended Hunters and Collectors video.  This one is called Blind Eye.   

I like these Hunter and Collector songs, but I can't say that I love them yet. I probably need time for the love to grow.

39. Learned from Lord Wiki that Hunters  and Collectors began in 1981.   They disbanded in 1998, but have gotten together since then to do their thing.

In March 2009, they participated in Sound Relief for the Victorian Bushfire relief efforts.  

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Disappointing Vampires, Sharks, Stealing Children, and Thin Wizards

1. Loved this quote from Isobelle Carmody's Alyzon Whitestarr.  Da told me sadly that there were a lot of voters who wanted the refugees sent back to their own countries.  "They don't want to imagine how it is for a refugee, because thinking about people who are poor or frightened makes them feel unhappy and guilty at how uncomfortable and safe their own lives are".

I think there's so much truth to that. And I love that the asylum seeker issue has come into the book.   I don't know if Carmody is simply trying to make a political statement or if it's a big part of the plot.  

The book continues to be fantastic.

2. Watched the first episode of True Blood.  Anna Paquin is still totally hot; so it's kind of worth watching just for that. But I like the books much better.

I don't like this whole thing with evil Bill. Although Tim says he's probably not really evil. The trailer is edited to trick us.

I hope he's right.

3. Asked Lord Wiki to help me remember the True Blood books. I skimmed through the plot synopsis.  And yeah. I like the books much better except for the second season and the second book.   In that case I prefer the show a little more, mainly because of the differences in the Godric storyline. 

We watched the recap of season three and barely any of it made me nostalgic or excited. I think the show went down hill for me in the last moments of the season finale of season 2—when Jason (the Australian with a southern accent) shot Eggs.

I did like the vampire-interrupting-the-news scene in season three. That's about it.  

4. Realized my feelings here are very much like my feelings during the Nip/Tuck days.  I stopped liking it after season two but felt obligated to keep watching.  I'd watch it, stop watching; then would watch it again. I would see other people online still liking it, and it made me feel like a failure.

I guess I felt disloyal.

What is it?  If you're a fan of a show, you need to stick with it....even if it turns to crap?

At least I have the books this time. It's not like I could fall back on Nip/Tuck novels.

I did have the soundtrack. That was nice.   

5. Read article about tourist being abandoned at the Great Barrier Reef. Scary!

It's happened before, and they made a movie about it.

Fortunately, this recently lost tourist had a happy ending. It's not the happiest ending for the guy who messed up on the head count. He got fired...understandably.   

6. Had to look at a list of shark movies to help me remember the title of the abandoned tourist movie.  It was Open Water.
7. Wondered why they changed the location of the movie. Why didn't it take place in the Great Barrier Reef like the real story?

Did Tourism Australia put pressure on them?

I bet they also tried to put an end to this ad.

8. Decided that if I ever go on some Barrier Reef dive, I'm going to call a family member and say, If you don't hear from me in two hours, call the American Embassy or something.   

9. Can't stop talking in a southern accent.  That's the other problem with me watching True Blood.   Although it's kind of fun...until I look in the mirror and remember I'm not as cute as Sookie Stackhouse.

 When I watch True Blood, I have the southern accent.  When I watch Offspring, I get the Australian accent.  I should watch them in the same day. Then I might get some cool southern American/Australian hybrid thing.

10. Went to bed and had dreams.  In one dream, My family gets caught up in an asylum seeker incident..  We're at the wrong place at a weird time. We end up having to go into this circular glass-enclosed flying vehicle with others as professionals use the vehicle to search for an escaped asylum seeker. I'm kind of excited to be part of the action, at first.  Then I start to realize this might go on for hours.  What if we need to use the toilet?

It doesn't last too long, and soon we're back on the ground.  I regret not taking photos.  I find a nearby thing that people are standing next to and having their picture taken. I decide to join them and take pictures here too.

I'm ashamed of my dream self for giving very little worry to the actual asylum seeker. I was very apathetic and superficial in that dream. 

In the other dream, I'm in the Taronga Zoo parking lot.  I'm waiting for a cab. There's one in front of me with a girl already in it. The driver asks where I'm going, indicating that he can take me back too.  I say "the city", but then realize that might not make sense.  Isn't the zoo part of the city too?  I say "the CBD", hoping that's better information.    

The dream seems very trivial and meaningless except for the fact that the parking lot reminded me of the Epcot parking lot. And that reminds me of the time we were waiting for the Disney bus, and I saw a girl wearing a t-shirt. The t-shirt said something that was very meaningful to me, especially on that particular day. I took it as a spiritual-type message.  

11. Looked through The Fireplace.  It's a role-player support website created by the brilliant person who created Tallygarunga.  I think it would be fantastic for anyone who loves role-playing.

12. Read article that says the Cattle Council has pledged to give five million dollars to help the cattle farmers.

I don't know anything about the Cattle Council, but they seem better than Meat and Livestock Australia. Meat and Livestock Australia is refusing to give money.

13. Looked at the website for the Cattle Council of Australia.  From what I can see, it sort of reminds me of The Fireplace.  The Fireplace brings together people around the world who have their own role-playing sites; plus people participating in role-playing sites. The Cattle Council brings together people around Australia who are involved in other cattle organizations.

14. Started to read a point/counter-point feature about gay marriage. First there's the writer who's pro-gay marriage. Then there's the writer who's against it.    

I agree with the first one, of course.  But the second one is more interesting.  It's interesting because it's so full of hate and ignorance. It's like one of those gruesome things you know you shouldn't look at; but you can't help but want to do it anyway.  

David Van Gend says, Yes, it is discrimination to prohibit the "marriage" of two men, but it is just and necessary discrimination, because the only alternative is the far worse act of discrimination against children brought artificially into the world by such men, compelled to live their whole lives without a mother.  

Children need a loving parent; preferably two. Even better if you get a loving aunt, uncle or grandparent in the mix.  But why hell does the parent need a vagina? What does a vagina do for the child once it has passed through it?

Breasts are very beneficial for breastfeeding, but many moms choose not to breastfeed; so it's kind of a mute point.

And are most gay fathers getting babies by doing something medical?  I would think most gay fathers are adopting.   Maybe I'm wrong?  So I'm guessing it's better to be raised by the state—be parentless rather than have two dads?

There's more ignorant statements from Van Gend.   He says, His analogy with racism is false because a black person cannot stop being black, but a gay person can certainly stop being gay, as a large number of formerly gay men and women around the world have demonstrated.

No.  You can't stop being homosexual, heterosexual, or bisexual. You CAN suppress your natural feelings, and you can embrace feelings that you previously repressed.   

What's really sick is that David Van Gend compares gay parenting to the Stolen Generations. Why?  Because in both cases, children are deprived of a mother.

Oh no! I've been so ignorant.

I never realized that gay people were going into straight people's houses and stealing their children. I better hide Jack!

If you want to do an analogy about the Stolen Generation, how about this?  Anti-gay parenting people are similar to those who supported stealing Aboriginal children from their families.  Why? Both groups believed a certain type of people aren't fit for raising children in our society. Believing two fathers can't raise a child as well as a mother and a father is the same as believing black people can't raise their children as well as white people.  

15. Had some strange thoughts about eating animals. I think I understand something now but at the same time, I don't understand. It's all so mysterious.

This is the thing.  I don't have any particular love for cows.  I don't think they're that cute. To me, they're a bit blah.  But even though I don't find them endearing, I don't think it's right for them to live a life full of pain and discomfort.  So I don't eat them, and I'm trying to eat less of their milk.  

Meanwhile, my dad loves cows.  There's a ranch near our lake house, and my dad was thrilled when the owner gave us an open invitation.  Come visit our cows anytime!  My dad is all over himself with joy and excitement when he visits the cows. Then later at dinner, it's not unusual to see him eating a cow.  

I was bemused at the irony of the situation.  I don't care about cows, but I try to abstain from contributing towards their harm.  My dad loves cows, but doesn't think twice about eating a big cheeseburger.

Okay.  But now I'm in the same boat.  I LOVE beetles. I think they're beautiful and adorable. To me, they're so damn cute.  Then the other day, I learned from the fear-mongering Jamie Oliver that certain foods are made from beetle bits.  He was trying to make us disgusted, angry, and terrified about the whole thing.  Instead I was fascinated and excited.  I ended up going through out pantry, trying to find candy with beetles. All I could find were sprinkles.   They have confectioners glaze, which is made from the secretions of a beetle. Instead of being grossed out by the whole thing, I'm loving it. Tim made super yummy eggless donuts; some are covered in chocolate and some have sprinkles.  I call the sprinkle ones the beetle-juice ones.  I ate one last night.  Okay.  I confess. I also ate a chocolate one.   I was a bit over-indulgent.

Then a few minutes ago, Jack found a beetle in our foyer. I cooed over it, and gave it a little pat or two.  He was so cute.

Anyway.  That's my story. I'm not sure how to interpret it. We can love something and at the same time want to eat it?

16. Wanted to add that I do feel a bit conflicted about eating the beetles.

I AM more in support of eating insects than mammals, fish, and birds. Since they're so small, it would be easier to raise them without impacting the environment.   I'm also thinking (hoping) that because of their size they feel less pain when killed.  That's probably wishful thinking.

I do eat honey, though, and some vegans say bees are harmed through the process.  Beetle-juice is probably not any worse than that.  And from what I read, it seems the people collect the secretions from trees.  It happens naturally, and then it's collected.  But living beetles might be killed in the process.  I'm not sure. Then there's another beetle ingredient used as a red food dye. It's made up of crushed beetles.  I'm guessing they're murdered. That's sort of sad.  

17. Found this website which says insects don't really feel pain. I hope they're right. What I hate seeing is an insect struggling. Maybe this is worse than them being killed?

I hate seeing a cockroach on its back with it's legs going very fast.  I hated seeing the dragonfly struggling to fly. I hate seeing a bee in the pool, trying to get out.

One there was this beetle at the lake house.  He was on his back with his legs going all fast. I kept pushing him back over.  He'd walk a bit; then fall again. I knew I couldn't keep doing that over and over.  I left him over night.   In the morning he was dead. I regretted that I didn't take him inside the house to let him die there. It was hot outside.Was the heat uncomfortable for him?

Maybe the thing about insects is with some types it's easy to kill them very quickly. And if they die quickly, they're less likely to suffer.  I sometimes kill ants in our kitchen by pouring boiling water over them. They die immediately.  Hopefully, they die before they feel the pain.  

18. Saw that the Australian dollar jumped back up again. It's now equal to 1.065 American dollars.

That's not too bad.  

19. Had deep thoughts from reading these lines in Alyzon Whitestarr.
My da would have had a lot to say about people who had other people as servants, but there was a leafy smell that flowed between the old lady and all her staff that seemed to indicate affection and mutual respect.  Certainly nobody smelled of resentment or envy or even of irritation. It was a good lesson not to generalize principles.  

If someone can afford to get help around the house, why is this bad?  And if it is bad, how is it worse than getting help outside the house?

I know people who criticize parents for hiring nannies.   It's wrong to pay someone else to watch your children.  That's YOUR job.   But then why isn't it equally wrong to send your child to daycare or any school?  Isn't it the same thing—letting someone else take care of your child?  I think if people are against nannies, they should be equally against daycare and school.

The same can be said for personal chefs. If someone doesn't like to cook and they can hire a chef; I think that's great. Is it any worse than going to a restaurant and having someone cook for you, and other people serve you?  

20. Went to Tallygarunga.  Today, I'm going to continue reading This Is Not A Party.   Although it really IS a party. It's taking place in the Spencer Common room, and has a lot of characters participating.

Miriel Henry, from Flinders house, comes across the party. She seems a bit weary. I'm not sure why.  Does she not like parties in general; or does she need to avoid distraction at this point?  

She does seem a bit nervous and timid.

Miri cautiously walked through the barely lit hallway, not liking the feel to it one bit. She had left the Great Hall just a few moments before and planned to retire to her dorm for the night when she was captured by the spooky atmosphere of the hallway. Having spent many nights in the forest, Miri wasn't afraid of the dark or even the slightly damp smell that seemed to live down here. She didn't like the feeling, though, that the ceiling was going to collapse on her at any minute and the old wooden walls didn't reassure her of her personal safety. It seemed like a haunted corridor in an old mansion and she quickened her steps to get out of there a bit faster. 

Miriel didn't escape the party.  Forrester Smith grabbed her and forced her to join.   

Forrester grabs Arti too.  This could mean her time in the hotel room with Reade has ended.   I think maybe sometimes stories happen simultaneously. Time is sometimes weird in the role-playing world.  It confuses me a bit; but I'm slowly getting used to it.  

Now the headmaster has joined the party.  That's cute.

21. Learned that Miriel is half-elf.  Interesting.....

22. Felt bad for Lyvon Paradis.  He ate a vomit jellybean.

23. Felt so sad for Améa.  She's a very lonely and angry girl.  

She's annoyed by the party—the noise. Yet she still tries to get into the Spencer common room.

The room rejects her.  It won't let her in.  

Améa knew there were very few (if any at all) students who thought in any way kindly of her, it wasn't a surprise that she wouldn't be invited to their parties. The lack of surprise didn't make it hurt less, though. Still, it was proof. No one wanted her around. Even those that said they did... it was only a matter of time before they changed their minds too.

I have felt this way at times.  There have been days where I've felt no one likes me or at best, they're indifferent to me.  I felt that way my bad night in Sydney. I got it into my head that people tolerated me only for the fact that Tim came with the package.

24. Decided to read the biography of Forrester Smith.  I don't think I've read it yet.   His role player is Nihel.   I recognize that name because he or she is in the chatroom a lot.  OR at least it seems that way.   I do quickly lurk whenever I visit; although I don't often say much.  Well, I guess that's the definition of lurking.

25. Interrupted by a surprise gift from Tim.   He bought me a book we had seen in New York.   It's called I Feel Relatively Neutral about New York.  It's hilarious, and I totally agree with what they say about Strand Books. I complained about the store. Then I read about it in the book and was delighted to see them saying the same thing that I said. Yes, there's a lot of books, but many of them are so high up.   You can't reach them. It's silly.  

26. Went back to reading about Forrester.  His Patronus is a crocodile. That fits very well with Australia.

Forrester was born in Ireland. He's in year 7; and he's in Sturt house.

27. Saw that Forrester is five foot five; and weighs 113 pounds.  That seems very thin to me.  

28. Looked at a BMI calculator.  Forrester would be in the normal weight range.   He's not underweight.  Still...I think he'd be quite slender.

29.  Saw that weight is important to Forrester.  He watches his calorie intake, and exercises a lot.   He likes having the sculpted body even if it means he's small. 

30. Learned that Forrester was in a gang.  He has a lot of scars from that.  

He smokes.   That might be one of the reasons he's thin.   I saw this article today.   It says a study has shown that nonsmoking people are more likely to be obese.   This is especially true if they're in low-income groups.  Should we start handing out cigarettes to teens in hope it will prevent them from getting fat?    Well...maybe not.   The article says, Prof Johan Mackenbach from the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam welcomed the study but added: "It is important not to forget that smoking is a much stronger risk factor for mortality than most other risk factors, including obesity."

But really.  Wouldn't it be funny if we're moaning about this obesity crisis—blaming sedentary lifestyles, junk food commercials, bad parenting, etc. And all this time, the anti-smoking crusade is to blame?  

31. Learned that Forrester is not always very nice.  He's a bit bad.

He has a twin brother.  He's less bad with his brother. They get alone well.

32. Learned that Forrester doesn't like chickens.

He does like smoking, drinking, violence, and sex.

33. Learned that Forrester has post-traumatic stress disorder, and he has a phobia of adult males.

I'm guessing he was abused.  

He's also obsessed with his weight.  I'm thinking eating disorder.  I was wondering about that from something mentioned in his physical description.  As for clothing Forrester prefers to keep “hidden” thus wears layers despite Australias heat. I remember reading that some people with eating disorders will wear baggy clothes. They want to be thin, and then they want to hide their thinness.

 34. Learned that Forrester's mother is Australian. When she was a teen, she was sent to Ireland to live with her grandparents.  There she married Daniel—in an arranged marriage, I believe.  Or maybe not.

She returned to Australia later for a visit and got pregnant with another man's child.  I was confused by this at first.   In fear of Daniel finding out, Grace was shipped back quickly. Her months stay turned into just a few weeks so he never found out.    I thought they meant they didn't want Daniel to find out Grace was pregnant.  But then why send her back to Ireland?   Why not keep her in Australia?   Then I realized that it probably means they wanted to keep Daniel from finding out the baby wasn't his.  

35. Did not get much information about Forrester's childhood. The profile says it will be continued.   I don't know what happened to make him a bad boy. I'm assuming some of it is simply the way he was born.   Then on top of that, he was probably abused by an adult male. That would give a reasonable explanation of why he's afraid of adult men.

Although sometimes phobias can come about for no apparent reason.   

36. Had a thought about Forrester's need to be thin.  If he has an eating disorder, it would probably be related to his dislike of adult males.   I think eating disorders are more common in females because most of us want to be small and delicate. I think men usually want to be big...but muscular, not fat.   That being said; even though eating disorders are more common in females; they do happen sometimes with boy and men.  It's not incredibly rare.

I remember reading that sometimes eating disorders are related to teenagers not wanting to develop adult bodies.   

37. Found article about men and eating disorders.  It says a study by Harvard showed that 25% of people with Anorexia or Bulimia are men.  

I like this quote from Cynthia Bulik, a director of an eating disorder center. Genes load the gun and environment pulls the trigger.  I agree with that. When I'm with my parents, the environment pulls the trigger quite frequently.  But I've learned to fight it.

Bulik also says But one of the problems I see for male eating disorder patients is just being taken seriously.  
I'm female, and I wasn't taken seriously.  I didn't lose enough weight.  I became underweight but not underweight enough.  But there's debate over whether I had an eating disorder or not.  What I saw was myself overcoming an eating disorder.  Other people saw it as a woman gaining the willpower to stick to a brave regime of calorie-counting and abundant exercising.  Despite the fact that I have tried and tried to connect with my parents on this issue, they still say stuff that makes me realize I have not reached them at all.   I had a whole dinner-long conversation with my mom about my supposed-eating disorder.   This came after a huge tearful fight in which she told me I never had an eating disorder; eating disordered people are in the hospital with IV's stuck in their arms.

My mom apologized and took me out to dinner so we could talk about it.  I talked to her about how it's a struggle not to return to old habits; that sometimes I want my weight to go back into the nineties  She acted understanding.  But I think my words went in one ear and out the other.  A few weeks ago, she announced to all of us at the table (including me) that she heard very low calorie diets help people live longer.  Yeah. I won't argue that there might be SOME scientific/health merit to that...for some people.  But it's really not healthy for someone like me to hear it.

Yes, sometimes when I'm in a sick state of mind I have a strong desire to go back to the extreme dieting.  I want to do it out of revenge.   I want to get super thin and make my parents regret not taking my problems seriously.  But then I remember that I won't bother them by becoming very thin.   I'll make them very happy. They love and admire thinness. They wouldn't be worried or bothered unless I was thin enough to be hospitalized or dead.

38. Decided I should try to be fair.   If I want to believe that Aspergers and mild Autism is a personality-type rather than a disorder; it's only fair that I accept some people see extreme measures to achieve thinness as an admirable trait rather than a disorder.  Why not?

I see my case as a disorder simply because, although I was much more attractive, the dieting caused problems in my life.  I was SO obsessed with food.  I thought about it constantly. I went alone to NYC just so I could eat and eat. Now when I think about traveling alone just to go on an eating holiday, it seems pathetic to me.  But then other people might think, There's nothing wrong with being a dedicated foodie! 

I became very neurotic.  My calorie-count was actually NOT dangerously low for most of the dieting period.  It was 1200 calories for most of the time; although at one point I changed it to 800.  But I became overly militant.  I would weigh an apple before eating it.  I was kind enough to allow myself to go under my daily limit but not over. I would exercise pretty much all day. I put on a pedometer and paced the house.  I dreaded social occasions because it meant I'd either have to look weird with my constant pacing or I'd have to take a few hours off of exercising.  The latter was difficult, because I had strict eating rules. I had to walk a certain amount of steps before eating anything.

Usually I'd walk around 8-15 miles. So although 1200 calories isn't too low; it's probably too low for someone walking that much.  The reason I went down to 800 calories (or maybe it was 900?) was that Jack broke his arm.  I figured I needed to cut down on exercising, so I could spend more time with him.  

I took breaks from the diet—like when we went on holiday.  Then I'd go crazy and eat a ridiculous amount of calories.  Within a short 3-4 day holiday, I'd gain ten pounds. And this was with tons of walking.   My metabolism was so out of whack.  Then again, what's tons of walking when you walk 8-15 miles on a regular basis?

When we went to NYC a few weeks ago, I gained no weight from the trip.  I left at 133 pounds and came back at 133 pounds.  We walked a lot but less than what we used to walk.  We ate a lot. We definitely indulged but nothing like we did during my dieting days. But mostly....I think my metabolism is healthy again.

I may not be skinny enough to please certain people; but I like my life better now. I feel more balanced.  I like this life in which I don't weigh my food.   I like weighing myself once a day instead of multiple times a day.  I'm glad that I stopped drinking laxative tea.  It didn't work well, first of all.   And I didn't much like the taste.  I like that these days my favorite part about going on a holiday is being with Jack and Tim....and seeing fun things.  What I used to love most about holidays was taking a break from my diet and gorging myself with food.  

I still love exercising, but I'm glad I don't feel the need to do it all day. Otherwise, how would I write in my blog?

Maybe I didn't overcome an eating disorder. But I think I DID overcome...something.  

This something might be the type of life that other people might enjoy.  But I don't.  So, I'm glad it's gone.

39. Started to read chapter fourteen of Fruitcake's blog.   It's called "The Blackfella's Eureka".   

The whitefella's Eureka happened on the goldfields; Ballarat, I believe.

40. Googled the Eureka Stockade to make sure I was right about it being in Ballarat. 

41. Read more of Fruitcake's chapter.  The Aboriginal Eureka was a strike that happened after World War II.  But it began taking shape during the war.   Aboriginal Australians on cattle stations learned there were Aboriginal Australians working alongside white men, and they were being paid regularly and reliably.    

I guess the first step in taking action for yourself is realizing other people are not treated as bad.

42. Learned from Fruitcake that some people believed the strike was a communist plot.  Why? A white person involved with the whole thing had once been involved with the Communist Party.    That's reasonable.   So if I ever get involved with any cause, people can believe it's a Jewish plot.   I'm Jewish, and I used to be active with the synagogue.

42. Learned that the strike is the longest strike in Australia's history.  It lasted 3 years and involved 800 workers.  On some levels, I guess that's good.   It's definitely a sign of perseverance.   But if the station owners were more compassionate and less stubborn, the strike wouldn't have had to last so long.

I guess that's the thing about any people fighting for their rights. It's very admirable and inspiring; yet it's also sad that certain things don't simply happen on their own.

I love how people have fought and won gay marriage rights in New York.  But it would have been nice if it had never been an issue in the first place.  What if it was simply natural for people to be tolerant, fair, and compassionate?  

43. Learned from The Australian Dictionary of Biography that I have another writer as my Australian of the day.  Her name was Mary Eliza Fullerton.  

She was born in 1868 in Glenmaggie Victoria.  I don't think I've heard of that.

44. Found Glenmaggie on Google Maps.  It's in eastern Victoria, and doesn't look close to Melbourne. 

45. Checked the distance of GlenMaggie from Melbourne. It's closer than I thought.  Glenmaggie is two hours east of Melbourne.  

46. Learned that Mary received some education from her mother, and some from the state school.

She loved to read.

When she finished with school, she worked on the farm and also kept reading.

She was shy but managed to become involved with the women's suffrage movement.

She sometimes used the pen name Alpenstock.  Why?  I don't know.

47. Learned from this online dictionary that an alpenstock is A long staff with an iron point, used by mountain climbers.  That could have some nice symbolism.  Maybe Mary saw herself as someone who helped other people achieve their goals.

48. Learned that Mary became friends with Miles Franklin.   

She never won the Miles Franklin award, but she did write some novels.   The Australian Dictionary of Biography says, While her novels have little lasting merit, some of her poems, and certainly her Bark house days (a book of verse), deserve a place in Australian literature.   I'm guessing this means it's probably hard to find her books in print.   

49. Loved this part from Alyzon Whitestarr.   I think there is this country made up of all the dreams people have when they sleep, and it's constantly changing and reshaping as people wake or dream something different.   Then further down, So if you were lucid dreaming, you could visit a bit of that country formed by other people's dreams.  

In my lucid dreams, I often head towards a place I call Dream City. I like to imagine it's a real place where spirits and other dreamers hang out. The thing that makes me doubt my fantasy is true is that the setting is not very consistent.  The place changes.  That's the first time I've considered the idea of Dream City being made up of other people's dreams.

It would be neat if it were some type of collectively-created setting. 

It's probably not true, but it's fun to imagine the possibilities.

50. Listened to another song from the email with lots of recommended songs.   It's the Herd singing I Was Only 19.   The singer/rapper reminds me of one of the voices in the GetUp sorry video. I wonder if it's him.

51. Started to watch the GetUp sorry video so I can find the guy I'm talking about. His part begins at :27.

Maybe I should just watch the other video to see if it looks like the same guy.

52. Listened.....

Now it sounds less similar.

I don't know what I was thinking......

But I'm glad I gave myself an excuse to watch the GetUp video.  

There's another rapper at 2:25.  Maybe he's part of Herd?

Or maybe all Australian rappers sound alike to me. 

53. Listened to the original version of I Was Only 19.  It was in the email too.

I like this version better.

The song is about being a war veteran.

And can you tell me, doctor, why I stil can't get to sleep?
And night-time's just a jungle dark and a barking M16?
And what's this rash that comes and goes, can you tell me what it means?
God help me, I was only ninteen.

I guess I shouldn't expect to see those lyrics on military recruitment sites.   

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Deleted Comments, Blogging, Gay Wizards, and Dentists

1. Dreamed about Australia.  I think maybe my whole family was with us. We all are at Sydney Wildlife World and then it's time to go. As we're leaving, I suddenly remember the Sydney Aquarium.  We forgot to go there.  I'm wondering if Jack forgot too.  Why isn't he saying anything?   I'm not sure if I should bring it up or not.  (I can't remember if I did).  I decide we'll go back another day. We'll buy the combo tickets and do both Wildlife World and the aquarium.  I worry about lunch a bit. When will we eat?  I decide we'll go to one park, eat lunch, and then go to the other park.

Later we all sit to eat lunch at a place where you can look down at the water. The water's right near us.  I peer into the sea and am delighted to see many big colorful fish. 

2. Dreamed about an Australian friend.  She writes an update on Facebook.  She and her family are going to Ireland.  I see my sister has written a comment on the update. I'm thinking it's odd that my sister hardly knows her and wrote a comment; yet I haven't commented.  I think of commenting but hesitate.  I've felt distant from this friend lately, and I feel shy about leaving a comment. 

3. Dreamed about my blog.  We're on a holiday and packing to go home.  At the same time, we're having a massive party to raise money for childhood cancer. It has a Harry Potter theme, and we actually have some Harry Potter actors there (Snape, Slughorn, and maybe some others).   I'm very excited about this.  I want to videotape them and put it on my blog—proof that they were there.I manage to do the videotape but worry it will look like I got clips of them elsewhere and tried to make it look like they were at the party.  I'm in a rush, though.  I go to another room to work on my blog.  Then I see that I still have a lot packing to do.  I'm torn between blogging and packing.   

4. Liked a quote from Isobelle Carmody's Alyzon Whitestarr.  One of the characters says,  I think the reason they want fame can make a person crazy.  I mean, people want it because they feel insignificant. They want everyone to know them and be interested in them.  They don't realize that being stared at so much will turn them into actors in their own lives. Nothing will feel real anymore.  They'll feel less real when they're famous  than when they were nobody.   

I think there's so much truth to that, and I can relate to it, because I used to want to be famous. A part of me probably still does. Another part of me looks at people like Katy Perry and JK Rowling, and I feel sorry for them.  I would love all the money but not the loss of privacy. And I would especially hate the pressure and expectations.    

The novel is good, by the way.  I'm on chapter nine. I'm wondering if it's supposed to symbolize autism in some ways. Alyzon gets hit on the head.  When she awakens from her coma, she has super strong senses. Smells and sound are very strong for her.  She can't stand being touched.  Suddenly, mathematical equations are a comfort to her.  She thinks of math to protect herself from strong sensory input.  She has a photographic memory.   I think all of those things are associated with autism.  However, there's a supernatural element to it. Alyzon becomes somewhat psychic, because she can smell things on people that reveals their feelings.  For example, when her dad is upset he smells like ammonia.   
5. Learned that Andrew is gay.  It's a bit of a shock. I thought he and R were just good Ernie and Bert.

Seriously though; I wrote this very long comment on his post but then deleted it because it was one of those I'm writing a blog post on your blog type things.  I write long enough posts on my own blogs.  I don't need to write them on other people's blogs.  

6. Went to Tallygarunga.

Today I'm going to read more of Satisfy Your Soul.  This is the story of the two wizards sharing a hotel room in Melbourne. The last time I saw them they were drinking a bit, and eating chocolate.

Wow.  Eleven posts have been added since I last read this story thread.

7. Started reading.

Now Reade and Arti are kissing, and Reade has chocolate all over his bare chest.

Arti takes off her shirt.

This is very good writing.  They both do a good job of balancing the nervousness and fear with the desire.

Both Arti and Reade are very endearing, especially Arti's reaction to Reade's premature ejaculation.   Arti bit her lip nervously, she really hoped he wasn't going to get upset with her. Apart from the fact that she was relieved, part of her was a little proud that she could work him up just that much -- of course the alcohol was a factor there too.

8. Glad that Reade and Arti didn't have sex and glad that they're now boyfriend and girlfriend.It's so sweet. They're both very sweet; although I still think they should have been nicer to the waiter at the burger restaurant.

I am really starting to love them, though.

9. Decided to read another biography of a wizard with a high post count.  Today I'm going to read about Lachlan Manere.  Or maybe not.   He hasn't been active since May 17.  He may be a Tally drop-out, or on a major hiatus.  I'd rather write about someone more current.  

Who's next on the list?

Katherine Belmont.  Her last post was June 26. That's recent.   

Katherine's celebrity face claim is Tina Fey.  Tim likes Fey a lot.  I think she's one of his favorite female celebrities.  He wants to read her book.  Yesterday he looked at our library online to see if the book was available. It wasn't, so he may get it for his Kindle.

Oh!  Katherine is played by Mousie the supreme lord of Tallygarunga.

10. Learned that Katherine is the Headmistress of Penrose. I think that's the other wizarding school.   It's the private one, and Tally is the public one.

11. Struggled to find the list of wizarding schools in Australia. I know it's somewhere on the Tally site.   I did find this page, though. It lists wizarding graduates and says Penrose is the school for witches.  So it's the private school for girls.  

And guess what.  It has the information I was looking for awhile back. Finally, now I see the descriptions of the Tally houses.

Spencer is for the bold, the mischievous, the open minded.

Sturt is for The quiet, the clever, the ambitious.

Bourke is for The loud, the loyal, the honest .

Flinders is for The gentle, the hardworking, the brave.

I wouldn't fit well into any of those. I'm open-minded and slightly bold, but I'm not very mischievous.   I'm sometimes quiet.  I'm somewhat ambitious. I'm not very clever. I'm honest, but I'm not very loud.  I'm sort of loyal....or maybe not.  I'm gentle and hardworking sometimes. I'm not very brave.    

12. Managed to finally find the list of magical schools in Australia.  

If we win the Tasmania contest, we can drop by and visit the Araluen Academy of Magic. That's on the north-west coast of Tasmania.

13. Went back to reading about Katherine.

So far, she's not my kind of woman. She is very rarely seen in the same outfit twice, and would probably have a heart attack if spotted in recycled clothes.  I wear a lot of recycled clothes, and I wear the same outfits over and over and over. I used to try not to wear the same thing too much.   Then my niece kept wearing this dress we bought her.  Every time we saw her she wore the same dress. Actually, it became small on her and was more like a shirt than a dress.

Anyway, I started thinking it's probably better to find outfits you love and wear them a lot. I mean I don't wear the same thing everyday. But if I like clothes, I wear them at least once a week, sometimes more.

My mom gave me a dress this weekend. It's REALLY nice—not recycled and much more expensive than what I pay for my dresses.  There's a part of me that's saying, Don't wear it.  Save it.  If you wear it, you might get it dirty and it will be ruined.  But then I argue against myself. I love it and should wear it as much as possible.  I want to get as much use out of it as possible.

I probably won't wear it to the dentist today or just to go out to the grocery store. But the next time we do something fun, and I want to look nice, I'll wear it.

A part of me wants to save it for Australia.  It will make me look all stylish.  I'd probably want to wear it every day, though.  I'll wear it, wash it, wear it again, wash it.   I'll keep wearing it until I get a big stain. Then I'll put on one of my other dresses.  

I'm really going off on tangents here.

14. Went back to reading about Katherine.  I'm getting the idea that Katherine is not supposed to be a lovable character.  She's playful, even while trying to ruin you, although it would be fair to say that Kate is also quite oblivious to the feelings of those around her and tends to be hurtful even when she's not trying. She's demanding, frustrating, distant at the worst times - and clingy when it's not appropriate.

Katherine grew up wealthy, so I suppose she fits the stereotype of the bratty little rich girl.

She dated Alan.  I'm guessing that's the Headmaster Alan. Then she ended up marrying Alan's best friend Matthew.

15. Glad that the Magic is Might Experience is almost over.  I'm tired of the war.  I'm tired of death and fighting...even if it's pretend.

I don't know if I'm going to continue the blog when it's over.  I think if people keep reading and participating; I might. If they don't, it would be too much like talking to myself.

I think I might like writing about Alex and Julia more when the war is over. I want to write about happy day-to-day type things and not feel guilty that my character's worrying about trivial interpersonal conflicts while her friends are being tortured.  

I might quit just for the fact that I'm bothered by the anachronism of the whole thing.  Alex has a blog in 1998. That's not very realistic.

Lord Wiki says Livejournal was created in 1999; and I think that was one of the first blogging sites.

Okay, but he does say there were blogs in the earlier parts of 1990. They just weren't called blogs.   I actually kind of had one. Maybe in 1998?  I had a website via AOL, and I would write about TV shows I watched.  I don't know how often I posted or how long I kept it up. I probably had about 0-2 readers.

So maybe Alex's online journal is not too anachronistic.I should just make sure not to use the term "blog".  

I might continue with it.  We'll see. I've decided to give up the idea of sending Alex and Julia to Tallyland. I think I prefer being a fan. It would feel really weird to switch over to being a participant.   

And the truth is. I prefer working alone.  I mean I'm very happy with other characters commenting on Alex's blog, and telling their own stories. But I don't really like creating stories with other people. I look at Arti and Reade and the way these two writers interact with each other.   I'm amazed at their talent and cooperation.  I can't imagine being able to do that.  I'd rather spend energy admiring the Tally writers rather than trying to measure up to their talent.  

16. Realized I'm conflicted by Alex's sexuality.  I don't know if she's straight, gay, or bisexual.  She has two boys interested in her right now, but I don't get the sense that she likes them back.  She definitely likes them as friends.  And I think she's enjoying the attention.   But I'm not feeling any passion from her.  Is it because these boys are not her type?  Would she be attracted to other boys?   Or is she not attracted to these boys, because she's a lesbian. If she is a lesbian, is it possible that she doesn't know that yet?  I don't get the feeling she's ever had a female-crush either.

She was slightly attracted to Jude Law, but it didn't turn into a crush.

Maybe it's one of those things where I just wait and see. I kind of think the girl's a lesbian, but I'm not sure yet.

Speaking of gay wizards, I totally get a gay vibe from Harry Potter. I think he has absolutely no chemistry with Ginny or even Hermione. Then he has major chemistry with so many men: Dumbeldore, Sirius, Snape, Lupin, Draco. Maybe even Dobby and Kreacher a bit.  

I like to imagine that there's something kinky going on between Draco and Harry. I like to imagine there's a lot of meaning between that little nod they exchanged at King's Cross.  They're not saying, I know we're not friends, but I respect you a little bit.  They're saying, I know you're with your wife and kids right now. But we'll meet up later at the motel in Diagon Alley. See ya later, sexy. 

17. Read Michael's blog post about a mouse in a trap. It inspired me to visit the RSPCA to see what they say about mice-killing.  They say many people want to use live traps; or they want to use bait.   The idea with live traps is you trap the mouse; then release it.  It sounds good in theory, but the RSPCA says it often doesn't work.  People forget to check the traps, and the animal starves to death.  Or the animal is released, but can't adjust to it's new surroundings.  They think it's more humane to get a trap that will instantly kill the mouse.  

People like baits because the animal goes off and away; and the humans doesn't have to worry about it.  Reading about this makes me feel very guilty because I was talked into using this type of thing for squirrels in our house. I think I figured out eventually that I did something awful, but the RSPCA confirms that.   No, you don't have to deal with the corpse in your home. And that's lovely for you.   But the animal ends up dying a slow and painful death. Then their poisoned body lies their in the wild, ready for another animal to eat it.

I HATE when I allow myself to be talked into doing things that don't feel right to me; like the time I let Jack scream and cry hysterically alone in his crib for forty-five minutes, because I was talked into believing sleep-training was the appropriate thing to do.  It may be fine for some people, but it goes totally against my own personal ethics.

18. Started to read chapter 13 of Fruitcake's Blog.  It's about Pastoral people—those guys who have big ranches.  I think I'm going to read and not say much.   We're leaving for the dentist in about 30 minutes, and I don't want to get on a long tangent.  Plus, I'm a bit nervous. Jack's getting his first filling.  Ugh. He gets very nervous about medical procedures which makes me very nervous.

Sir Sidney Kidman is featured in this chapter.  I keep forgetting whether or not he's related to Nicole Kidman. I think yes, but I'm not going to go research that right now.

19. Looked at chart on Fruitcake's chapter.  It compares the size of American and Australian ranches.    Fruitcake says the biggest ranch in the US is 825,000 acres. It's in King Ranch Texas.  The largest in Australia is Anna Creek Station.   It's 6 million acres.   Wow!  The Texas one seems massive, and it's small compared to the Aussie one.

20. Looked up King Ranch Texas.  Google Maps says it's seven hours south of us.  

21. Went back to reading Fruitcake's chapter.

It's very interesting, and troubling.  I'm trying not to blab on and on about it. I wouldn't even know where to begin.  Basically, it's about how Aboriginal Australians worked on the stations.  Fruitcake talks about how the arrangement benefited both the station owners and the Aboriginal Australians.   She also talks about the negative aspects of the arrangement; basically the Aboriginals were exploited.  Fruitcake says, Whatever they were given or took from the station store was charged to their account, at whatever price the station owner wanted to charge. Like many children exploited in third world countries today, Aboriginals might suddenly learn they were actually in debt: The longer they kept working, the bigger the debt.

22. Found out from the Australian Dictionary of Biography that my Australian of the day is Barbara Jane Baynton.   She was a writer.  I like writers. Maybe this will be interesting.

I'll read about her after the dentist trip.  

23. Returned from the dentist. It turned out to be much faster and much easier than any of us expected.

24. Started to read about Barbara Jane Baynton.  It's pretty interesting so far. There's some scandalous stuff.

Barbara was born in Scone, New South Wales.   I never heard of it.   When she was eleven her family moved to Murrurundi.   That sounds a little more familiar to me.  Is it in New South Wales too? I'll look later.

Anyway, Barbara was homeschooled.  Although her name wasn't really Barbara.  I guess that was a pen-name.  Her birth name was Janet.

She was a governess for the Frater family. Then she married someone in the Frater family. Alexander.  They had two sons and a daughter.

Then Alexander left Barbara (Janet) for a household servant.

Barbara took the children, went to Sydney, and got a divorce. Or she tried to get a divorce.  She ended up with a decree absolute.  I'm not sure what that is. 

25. Looked up decree absolute.  From various sites, I'm getting the idea that Barbara got her divorce.

She then pretended to be a widow, and ended up marrying a seventy-year-old man.  She helped him spend his money on antiques and silver.  And she took up writing.

Barbara wrote six short stories, and had no luck publishing them in Australia. She had better luck in London.

Instead of romanticizing the bush,  Barbara wrote stories in which the bush was creepy and scary.

Barbara's husband died eventually, and Barbara was left a lot of money. She seemed to have fun spending it.

She wrote a novel called Human Toll.

26. Got idea from Lord Wiki that Barbara's Bush Stories (the short story collection) is better known than her novel.

27. Found a blog entry about Bush Stories. It's in a blog about Australian and New Zealand Literature. Have I seen this blog before?

I'm not sure.

But anyway....I'm now subscribed to it.

So far, I like the blogger's writing style.   She talks about how Bush Stories is not as obscure as she imagined; yet she's not finding a lot of people reading it (based on online reading sites).

Lisa Hill (the blogger) says that Barbara's first husband ran off with her cousin. Shit.

28. Got idea from the blog post that Barbara's real life is more interesting than her short stories.

29. Looked at Lisa Hill's list of 196 recommended Aussie and Kiwi books.

How many books have I read from the list?

I'll count.

I've read 25...give or take one or two.   I liked some of those that I read.  My favorites on the list are probably A Fraction of the Whole, The Book Thief, Orpheus Lost, and Swords and Crowns and Rings

30. Looked up Scone, New South Wales on Google Maps.   It's about two hours south of Tamworth.

Murrurundi is about 30 minutes south of Scone, and about an hour south of Tamworth.

31. Went back to reading my email with the all the song recommendations.

The next video is Black Fingernails, Red Wine by Eskimo Joe.  

I like the beginning, at least.

32.  Learned from Lord Wiki that Eskimo Joe is from Fremantle, Western Australia.  I associate Fremantle with the Harbour bridge climb.  Why?  Because one of the other participants had been on a cruise around Australia.   I remember him talking about Fremantle. Maybe he had said it was his favorite Aussie city?  

33. Went over to listen to Eskimo Joe's Wake Up.   It's okay.  But I prefer Arcade Fire's Wake Up.   It's one of my summer song obsessions.

Children wake up.
Hold your mistake up.
Before they turn the summer into dust.

34. Listened to another song from the email.  It's called FIGJAM by Butterfingers. You might think it's about jam made out of figs; but it's not really.  

It has some explicit lyrics, so don't click on the link if that bothers you.

Lord Wiki says Butterfingers is from Queensland.

35. Continued to read Alyzon Whitestarr.  It's full of exciting mystery. There's a guy who smells really bad, and I don't know why.  

36. Started listening to another song from the email.  It's The Nosebleed Section by Hilltop Hoods.   I may have heard it before.   The name, at least, sounds familiar.  But I'm more familiar with The Hard Road by Hilltop Hoods. I think that song is one of the first Aussie songs recommended to me.  

37. Read article that says the Green Party is saying that 83% of Australian mines are foreign-owned.   They're also saying much of the mining profits will be going offshore.

It sounds a bit like exploitation.

All this is related to the whole mining tax issue, which I don't know much about. Maybe one day I'll read into it.  But not today.  

Monday, June 27, 2011

Tasmania, Actors, Misjudgments, and Mines

1. Had an Australia related dream. It was inspired by something that happened yesterday.  When we were leaving the lake house, my sister found a stick that she thought would make a good sling-shot.   She asked us if we wanted it for Jack; but she got confused and called it a boomerang.

The dream: My mom tells us the last time she was out of town she stopped for a night at Disney World.  While she was there, she bought Jack a sling-shot. My mom says something about the salesperson's eyes. I ask where the salesperson was from, and she says Australia.  I'm pleased about this.    

The idea was that there was an Australian shop/pavilion at Disney World.   In real life, that's not true.

2. Read article about the cattle issue in Australia.   It's all a mess, really.  Joe Ludwig, the Agricultural Minister wants Meat and Livestock Australia to pay five million dollars compensation to the farmers.  They're not wanting to do it willingly, which means Ludwig will have to force them to do it.   However, it's not that easy.  He can't just order them into action on his own.  He has to get Parliament to support him; and it's possible that they won't.

Or maybe he doesn't.  I'm confused.  Some of the stuff in the article goes over my head.  It's like they might need Parliament's support. Maybe?  Or there might be a way he can do it without their support?

I'm lost.

The article says that Ludwig visited Indonesia last week, but didn't get access to the abattoirs. Well, maybe Indonesia knows they screwed up, and they need time to fix things.  Or maybe they don't plan to fix things, but they don't want to be shamed by the Australian media again.

3. Saw from Statcounter that I'm getting people on my blog who are interested in Hazel Hawke and Sue Pieters Hawke. I saw it last night too, and Googled.   There was some fight with Sue Pieters Hawke and her stepmom.  I just saw the headlines. I didn't read the article to get the details. I guess I wasn't in the mood.

Maybe I should go check that out now—get the gossip.   

Okay.  I read it.  It's not too exciting.  The stepdaughter and the stepmother had a fight at the airport.   There's animosity between them because the stepmother thinks Hazel Hawke (the mother) was a gold-digger.

I can relate to the big family fight thing.  Twice when I was a teen or young adult, we had huge family fights at a hotel.   They were loud enough that the management had to call to threaten us with expulsion.

I hope the Hawke family manages to work out their issues.

4. Read Andrew's post about Myki.  These are the public transportation cards in Melbourne.  I researched those a few months ago, but I forgot what I learned, except that there's a start-up fee.   That kind of annoyed me, but Tim later told me we had to do the same thing in London.

We had problems in New York with the Metro Card.  It's nice if you're there for at least a week, because then you can buy the week pass and not worry about how many times you can go on the train.  But we weren't there for a week.   We were there for three whole days and two half days.  It seemed too expensive to get a seven day pass for that many days.  So we decided to do a lot of walking and we just payed for the rides individually.  But those rides were $2.50 each. That adds up.   So we'd avoid using the subway, and would walk a lot.  I guess that's good because we got a lot of exercise. But it was really hot sometimes, and we got tired.  We usually walked to our destination, and then took the subway back. Once or twice we took a cab.

5. Went to the Myki website.  I'm totally back to being confused. I forgot what all the fares mean.

Is the Daily Zone 1 Full Fare a daily pass type thing?

A week pass for Zone 1 is $30.20 which comes out to $4.31 per day.  That's not bad. And Jack gets a cheaper price since he's a child. Unless we don't end up going to Australia until after 2017.    In that case though, I bet the weekly pass will be much higher than $30.20.

6. Ate a piece of strawberry Darrell Lea Licorice for breakfast. Tim bought it yesterday. I wish they sold the licorice bullets around here.  

7. Saw a list of American stores that carry Darrell Lea products.  And there's an American Darrell Lea site; but it's taking a very long time to load.  

8. Saw a contest to win a family trip to Tasmania.  The prize sounds really nice.  You get a cabin on the Spirit of Tasmania and two nights at four different holiday parks. AND you get all these free passes.  I'm not sure if you have to be Australian or not.    Under state, they do list "other" so maybe you can be from outside Australia. They're not paying for airfare, so we'd have to get to Australia on our own.

I'm going to try to enter.  If anyone else is interested in visiting Tasmania, they may want to enter the contest as well.

I really want to win!  By miracle if we did win, I think we'd skip the road trip around Victoria and do Tasmania instead.  But we'd still do the week in Melbourne.

9. Told Tim about the Tasmania contest. I really wish I could win!

10. Decided to look at the Tasmanian prizes.

You get two nights at the Discovery Holiday Park in Devonport.  Ten minutes from there is the House of Anvers chocolate factory.  

You get two nights at the Stanley Cabin and Tourist Park.  There's lots of birds there, which is nice.   I like birds.

You get two nights at the Wings Wildlife and and Caravan Park in Gunns Plains.   I'm guessing the town is named after the paper mill people?

Anyway, the accommodations are connected to (or close to) a wildlife park; and the contest gets you a family pass into the park.   We'd probably love that.

11. Looked at the website for Wing's Wildlife Park.  They have a lot of animals! Jack and I would totally love this.  

I really want to win.

12. Went to the website for Discovery Holiday Park in Cradle Mountain.  This is the other place featured in the contest.  From pictures I've seen in the past, I think Cradle Mountain is one of the most beautiful places in Australia.   Although I am a bit scared of mountains.   

13. Looked at the winning locations on Google Maps. They're all pretty much in the north-western part of Tasmania.

14. Consulted Lord Wiki about Gunns Plains. He doesn't mention it being named after the Gunns mill people.   

15. Saw that the Australian dollar has gone even lower.  It's now equal to 1.042 dollars.

16. Read an article about actors in Australia.  It sounds a bit troublesome.

I didn't know this, but there used to be a restriction on using overseas actors in Australia.  Now those restrictions are going to be lifted.  Filmmakers might decide to use other actors, and it will be harder for Australian actors to find work.

I wonder if the restrictions applied to all movies made in Australia, including ones made by non-Aussie filmmakers.  Yeah.  I bet it did.  That's why when you have films filmed in Australia...made by get Australian actors using American accents.  It's like Hugo Weaving in The Matrix and Claudia Karvan in Daybreakers.

I'm not sure if I agree with Simon Whipp the director of Actor's Equity.  The article quotes him as saying, [The] changes will mean that the programs will no longer reflect, in our view, the Australia in which we live.    Yeah....well....I don't think there was really anything Australian about The Matrix and Daybreakers.   It doesn't help when Australian actors use American accents in these movies.  

I would make a law that says all movies filmed in Australia must use a certain amount of Australian actors; and all the Australian actors must use Australian accents.

17. Saw article that says scientists are working on a ointment that will slow down the effects of a snake bite.  If it works well, it might mean people could apply the ointment and then have more chance that medical care will get to them in time.

That would be good!  

18. Went to Tallygarunga.   Today I'm going to read a story thread that's new to me.  It's called This Is Not a Party.  It takes place in the Spencer common room which is located in the Eureka Underground Hallway.  This is the same area in which Emily Smith tried to get Riley Lightfoot with a water balloon.  

19. Saw that Riley Lightfoot is one of the characters featured in "This is Not a Party:.   He's there along with Oliver Rhydderch, Trevor Lairrims, Leighton Aberdeen, Cassandra Caraway, and Tamarah Blair.  Four of them are Spencer students; but Trevor and Leighton are Bourke students.

20. Started to read the story thread.

Oliver is in the Spencer common room which is all lit up in crazy ways.  He's eating a lot of British wizarding candy.   I guess it makes sense that Australian wizards eat some of the same candy. I think there's a fair amount of British Muggle candy in Australian Muggle stores.  I get confused sometimes over what is sold in Australia and England; and what is sold in one place but not the other...minus specialty shops.

You know what.  I think it's actually the stuff that's not too hard to find in America as well.  The examples that come to my mind are the Cadbury Flake bar and the Curly Wurly. We can get those at Central Market, which is an upscale grocery store in the US.

21. Looked at the UK Nestle site to see what chocolates you'd find in Australia too.  I think you can get the Aero; maybe Kit Kat too?  I know Smarties are in Australia.

22. Decided I should get back to reading the story thread.

Oliver is trying to make his life more interesting by throwing a party in the Spencer common room.  That's why he has all the candy. He's planning to share.

Trevor is the first person to join the party. Next tomes Leighton.

23. Learned that Riley is having a tough day. He was assigned a paper out of punishment for a prank.  That's bad enough, but what makes it worse is he's not even truly guilty. Poor Riley.

Then again, he's probably done a lot of pranks for which he hasn't been caught. Maybe it all works out.

Riley also learned that his sister is sick and won't be able to visit.  He's disappointed about that. 

24. Saw that the next two people to enter the party are Cassandra and Tamarah.  Tamarah seems to be a bit jealous that she wasn't the one to come up with the idea; yet she's also excited and happy to join the fun. 

25. Decided to read the biography of the party man himself—Oliver Rhydderch.  

Oliver is sixteen, and was born in Melbourne.  He's Muggleborn which means neither of his parents were wizards.

There's a lot of detailed description here about his appearance.  I like this part.  Oliver never spends too much time prepping himself in the mornings as well. Having nothing but a quick shower, brushing, and throwing on articles of clothing without even combing his hair straight. He'd even walk out the door with his pants falling off his rear end or with his shoes untied.

That is very much not Tim. I think sometimes he takes longer than me to get ready.

26. Related to this about Oliver.  He also finds it uncomfortable to have his forearms covered in cloth so he either rolls up long sleeves or sticks to something shorter and sleeveless.   I'm more like that with pants though.  I'm not a huge fan of having cloth on my arms, but I prefer it to cloth on my legs.  I really hate pants.

27. Learned that Oliver is a bit of a clown. He seems to be very much an extrovert.

He's not a very good student. He's more interested in partying and socializing.  

28. Learned that Oliver had a rough childhood.  Despite being the youngest child, he was not showered with attention as youngest children often are. His mother was tired of having kids by the time he came along.  His father was busy with work.

At one time, Oliver got himself sent to a juvenile detention center. Yikes.

29. Learned that Oliver hates being alone; and he's claustrophobic.

30. Figured out that Oliver's creator is probably American.  He or she says "cotton candy" rather than "fairy floss" or "candy floss".  I wonder what it's called in other countries.....

31. Consulted Lord Wiki about cotton candy.  He says that it's called candy floss in England, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and South Africa.  Australia is unique to the Commonwealth with the fairy floss name.

32. Learned that Oliver is an animagus. That means he can transform into an animal.  His animal is the ferret.    

33. Went to read chapter twelve of Fruitcake's book/blog.  It's about the 1967 Referendum.

Fruitcake talks about an Aboriginal man named Frank Sullivan. It's all a bit crazy.

He was in the Northern Territory 1899, and Aboriginal Australians could vote there at a state level.   By 1901, he was allowed to vote in the Federal elections. However, Sullivan didn't vote because he didn't know he could vote.  The message didn't get to him in time.  It's too bad he didn't have Facebook.

Fruitcake says the laws became more strict in 1902.  Then Aboriginal Australians could vote only if they had been previously registered.

I think I get it.  Laws acted in favor of Aboriginal Australians, but not really, because not enough people knew about it.   Then once they changed the law to make it more difficult, people finally learned about the rights they used to have.

It's kind of like if I had a policy on my blog that says if you register, and read my blog everyday for a month, you get a year's supply of Darrell Lea licorice.  But the only way you'd know this is if you read one paragraph hidden in a random post.  Then one day I heavily publicize my policy, but say you can only get the free candy if you had already registered for the licorice prize.

34. Learned from Fruitcake that Aboriginal Australians could vote before the 1967 Referendum.  She says they were given the right in 1962. They were given the right to vote in Federal elections whether or not they had the right to vote in state elections.

The states that didn't allow Aboriginal Australians to vote in state elections were Western Australia and Queensland. Western Australia changed in 1962, and Queensland changed in 1965.

Fruitcake talks about the voting results for the Referendum.  Most people voted yes (91%), but some people voted no.  The no votes were most likely to come from places that had a larger population of Aboriginal Australians.   Fruitcake says, In some areas with a high Aboriginal population, there is even today some lingering animosity, and distaste for the squalor and unacceptably anti-social behaviour of some Aboriginal fringe-dweller.   Proximity doesn't always reduce prejudice.

I was trying to find a study I thought I read several months ago.  It talked about how it doesn't help children to be less prejudice if you simply stick them in a mixed group.  They said you need to actually talk to your children about differences and prejudice.  I thought it was on this scientific parenting site, but now I don't see it.   I'll keep looking......

I can't find it.

Maybe I dreamed it. 

Anyway, there's that popular misconception that children are free from racism and other forms of prejudice.  They're innocent, loving, and inclusive.  It's true that children are not going to have certain popular stereotypes of people, unless they were taught by the adults in their life.  They're not going to be born believing that Jews are cheap and that Arabs are all terrorists.  But children do often fear that which is different.  It could be someone with a skin color they haven't seen before.   It could be someone missing a limb;  someone that has glasses; or someone with a tumor on their face.

I think children, like adults, are also able to form their own stereotypes based on their experiences.   If a child is yelled at by a person at the park with red hair, she may get the idea that all people with red hair are mean.  It's kind of like how a bad experience with someone of a particular name may color our future judgment of anyone with that name. We're not going to name our child William if we were bullied by a William at school.

Back to the no-voters.  The truth is it's sometimes easier to stand up for a disadvantaged group when you don't see them on a regular basis.  When people live a disadvantaged life, they're not always super pleasant. They might not dress well. They might look unhealthy. They might be less educated.   They might live a life that makes us feel uncomfortable.

35. Found a good quote from Fruitcake.  She says, I can't imagine an Aboriginal committing any crime no white person has ever committed; the problem seems to be one of visibility. From an Aboriginal perspective, visibility is not the problem: Getting drunk in public or engaging in acts of domestic violence is something white people are hypocritical enough to keep private.

Yep.  Some people are better at keeping their problems private. One of my pet-peeves is when people would tell me how lucky I am to have my parents. Now my parents are pretty great. Like myself and all other parents, they've made some mistakes. But they're not abusive.

People can't know this though, unless they've lived in my childhood homes and watched me constantly.  Just because parents are charming in public; that doesn't guarantee that they're gentle and loving behind closed doors.   

We make too many assumptions about people without knowing them well.  We see a parent yelling at her toddler at the grocery store.  We think, Bad parent! Bad parent! Child abuse! Child abuse!   But maybe that parent is full of love and patience 99% of the time.  Maybe she just had a really bad day.

We see another parent at the grocery store lovingly and patiently teaching her toddler about all the fruits and vegetables in the produce section.  We smile warmly. The perfect parent. What a lucky child.

Maybe that mother was in an eerily good mood.   Maybe when she goes back home, she'll go back to one of her bad moods and throw her child's beloved toy into the incinerator.      

I wasn't a great parent when Jack was younger.  Well, I was great about 80% of the time, and bad about 20% of the time.  I'm pretty sure most of my bad parenting occurred in the privacy of our own home...or hotel room.    Jack has turned out quite well and we have a very strong bond, so I guess I wasn't too awful.  Either that or he's extremely resilient.  Maybe I shouldn't count my blessings. It could be he's repressed all this preschool anger and it will resurface in his teenage years.  

36. Read article about Koongarra in Kakadu National Park.  It's now listed in UNESCO's world heritage thing.  I didn't really think it was all that exciting until I read the article.  The big deal is Koongarra is rich in uranium. This means people would want to do mining there.  But now they can't because the UNESCO honor protects it.  I think that's probably a good thing. I'm sure some economically-focused people would disagree.

37. Realized that I sent my Australian-friend-in-California her birthday message a day early because I wasn't thinking about the fact that she's not in Australia anymore.  Oops.  

Sometimes I worry about my brain.  I am VERY aware that she's moved to California. I didn't forget that.   It's just I guess I still think of her as being in least time zone wise.   

38. Read article that says a recent poll shows Tony Abbott is now preferred as a leader, rather than Julia Gillard.  I wonder if there'll be an election anytime soon.  

39. Found out from the Australian Dictionary of Biography that my Australian of the day is Alngindabu.  She was Aboriginal. We could have probably guessed that from her name.

Alngindabu was born in the Northern Territory in the 1870's. Maybe. It's one of those not-known-for-sure type things. 

40. Looked up the Kungarakan people because Alngindabu was part of that group    Here's a website about them.  

They're also known as the Paperbark People.  

I like this. They call their grandfathers and male elders "Tjimin"  This is the word for dragonflies.

I love dragonflies.

41. Learned from the website that most of the Kungarakan people died in a tragic food incident.  They ate poisoned damper.

Was it poisoned on purpose?  

I can't easily find information about the incident.   

42. Went back to reading about Alngindabu.

She was trained as a domestic servant and given the white name Lucy. 

She married a man and had five children. They were all baptized as Catholics. 

This is an interesting story.  The husband (Stephen) was fired from his railroad job because one of his men was killed.  The family went off to live somewhere else, and on their journey they discovered a mine.   If I'm reading this right, they lived at the mine. 

In 1918, Stephen died.  Alngindabu and her youngest children were taken off to live in an Aboriginal compound.  For a few years, one of Alngindabu's daughter and son-in-law worked the mine.  Then they stopped, and the mine didn't go back to the family until 1960.

43. Saw that there's people with the last name Alngindabu on Facebook. One's from Australia, but the other is from Brooklyn.  I wonder if either or both of them are related.  

44. Saw Entertainment Weekly's poll about the sexist couples on network (American) TV.   The priest and his woman from The Thorn Birds is one of the 26 featured couples. I don't know how Australian the miniseries was, but the book it was based on was written by an Australian.  

45. Consulted Lord Wiki about The Thorn Birds.  He says it takes place in Australia.  I should know that since I read the book...or part of it.  But that was a LONG time ago.

Bryan Brown is in the movie; but besides that it seems to be made by mostly Americans. 

46. Looked at The Thorn birds on IMDb.  It was not filmed in Australia.  It was filmed in California and Hawaii.

47. Started reading Alyzon Whitestarr by Isobelle Carmody.   It's a young adult paranormal novel.    I liked the prelude and first chapter.  Alyzon is a plain and talented girl living with a family of beautiful and talented people.   I don't know though.   From what I see on the jacket cover, it seems she won't be plain and ordinary for long.  So what's the message there?   If you're plain and untalented, maybe something will happen to make you less plain and untalented?   OR maybe she does have a talent, but it's undiscovered yet.  I'd be more okay with that type of storyline.   Otherwise, I may feel the book is saying this girl was a worthless character until something happened to change her.   

I've read one book of Carmody's before.  It was part of the Obernewtyn Chronicles. Maybe the first book?   I liked it, but didn't love it.  Well, I got through the first book without being very bored. But I didn't like it enough to seek out the sequels.  

48. Started listening to Rock It by Little Red.  I got the link in the same email I mentioned yesterday.  This song also reminds me of a 1980's movie.  

I like the chorus. 

The song isn't from the 1980's really.  Lord Wiki says the band was formed in 2005. 

49. Learned from Lord Wiki that "Rock It" was #2 on Triple J's 2010 list of top 100 songs.  That's pretty huge.  

50. Learned from Lord Wiki that the #1 song on that same list was Big Jet Plane by Angus and Julia Stone.  I've heard the song before.  

51. Thought all the songs on Triple J's list would be Australian, but Cee-Lo Green is on here. 

52. Started to listen to The Greatest View by Silverchair.  This song was mentioned in the same email.

I thought the song was new to me, but it sounds familiar.  I think I've heard it before. 

I'm not sure if I've heard it in an American or Australian context. 

53. Consulted Lord Wiki about the song. He says it became somewhat popular in the United States in 2007.  So I might have heard it here.