Friday, June 3, 2011

Aquarium Dreams, Homophobia, Vengeful Witches, and Siany

1. Dreamed about the Sydney Aquarium.  I think I did this, because when I was planning my Muggle-Wizard family's Sydney holiday, I thought of sending them there.  Also, I'm a fan of the Sydney Aquarium Facebook Page; and read and respond to their updates sometimes. Yesterday, they asked what do we think of when we think of the aquarium.  Unfortunately, the first thing that came to my mind was our lost camera.  

The dream was one of those irrational dreams.  We were at the aquarium, exploring, hanging out, talking to people, etc.  At the same time, there was the idea that we weren't there.  We weren't even in Australia, because I was thinking, if we do end up going to Australia, we should come here, and maybe not just once.  I was thinking we should maybe get a season's pass again and come multiple times.  

Also in the aquarium dream...Jack and I split up for some kind of game where we're supposed to take photos of animals in different evolutionary stages; least evolved animal to most evolved animal.  I end up deciding to just take photos of small to big animals; maybe start with some kind of plankton and make my way up.   I think of going from shark to sea mammal towards the end.  I go around with the camera, but it's hard to find animals.   They seem to have more not-animal stuff. I see a big room where kids sit at tables and work individually with fossils and other stuff.  For some reason, I think this is brilliant. (It seemed much less brilliant when I woke up and thought about it)

I see a tank with a dining room table. Stingrays swim around it.

I end up going to get Jack. We give up on the game, and just look around.  At one point there's a man talking near us; a science teacher or museum guide.  I hear him say something about kids' projects on the wall.  Then I quietly say something to Jack about the man not being impressed with any of the art.   The man responds even though I wasn't talking to him directly; and even though I was very quiet when talking about him to Jack.   He doesn't seem mad or offended, more amused.   

We go to a place where you look down below, over the railing, and there's a heavily decorated tank.  The railing is a bit too high, and it's hard for Jack to see.  Instead of having real sharks, it has stuffed animals and puppet type things.  I'm wondering if they still have the Oceanarium part with all the real sharks.  The museum guide with superpower hearing  says something about the puppet thing not always being there. It seems the exhibit area has different things at different times.

We walk around and do finally find a section with actual animals. I don't think we look at it though.  We kind of just pass it by.  Jack heads over to this huge play room, for kids, and I follow him.  There's an idea that we used to go there a lot.  (It's like the discovery room in the Australia museum).  I don't mind Jack taking time to explore, but I'm wishing I brought a book to read. They have some books there—just random novels and a bunch of old magazines.; nothing fish or Australia related.   I look through them and try to find something to read. 

2. Had ideas about what the dream might mean.  I think in a way it could symbolize vegetarianism, or at least a diet with a reduction of meat.  What is an aquarium without animals?  What is a meal without dead animals?  In the dream, I kept trying to look for animals. I found it strange that there were much less animals and more other stuff.  But despite that, I still enjoyed the aquarium.  Jack liked it, and there was a fair amount of people there who seemed happy.  

Now the aquarium did have some animals, so I don't think my dream was advocating complete vegetarianism.  I think it was more representative of the almost-vegetarian diet.   It would be great if we could all just make a reduction in our consumption; make meat an occasional treat rather than something that has to be served at every meal.  Do we really need bacon with our pancakes; sausage on our pizza for lunch, and then a chicken breast for dinner?  Can we not do two vegetarian meals, and then one meat one?

3. Watched a video from the Follow the Follow the Yellow Brick Road Facebook Page.  This guy is taking a boat around Australia to raise money for polio.  I'm not sure how that works?   Well, I'm guessing it's a publicity stunt.  He gets attention for himself, but the attention is for a good cause.  He wants people to pay attention to the project, and then donate money.  I'm going to read more about it later.

The video was beautiful.  It's of the boat starting it's journey from the Sydney Harbour. It all looks so magical. It reminds me of my old childhood dream.

I think I have some kind of thing for that harbour.

I heard about the project because someone left a message about it on my Facebook Page.  This is the second time someone has advertised their cause on my page. I guess I'm fine with long as it's not rubbish.  I'm not sure if it's effective promotion though.   The only people who see it will be those who go to the actual Facebook Page. Do people often do that?  I would think most just see updates from the page via their Facebook newsfeed.   

4. Learned from the Griff the Invisible Facebook Page that they finally have an American release date.  It's coming here August 19.  I think it will do well because of Ryan Kwanten.  He's fairly popular here because of True Blood.   

5. Read article that says beer drinking in Australia has gone down while wine drinking has gone up.   Why?  I'm not sure. I definitely have different associations with beer and wine.   Beer drinking makes me think of casual fun people.  On the negative, I picture drunk fathers beating their children.   Wine makes me think of more pretentious people—intellectuals who like to show off that their cultured by using elaborate adjectives to describe what they're drinking.  

Tim drinks wine, beer, and sometimes other stuff; but not overly often.  He's fairly good at the moderation thing.

My dad drinks wine.  I'm not sure if he ever drinks beer. Maybe occasionally?

What my family really seems to love is Limonchello. I think that's their big thing now. I thought it was a type of wine, but Lord Wiki says it's a liqueur.

If I was going to drink, I would probably do the fun mixed drinks. Sometimes I indulge in the virgin ones.  

6. Listened to trivia with Tony Delroy on ABC Radio.  There's a question about what links Captain Cook, The United States, Star Trek, and a lost continent.    Someone said The Endeavor, but that's wrong.  It seemed like a good answer, but it doesn't fit the lost continent thing.

The answer turns out that they're all linked to names of space shuttles.  Okay? Honestly, I don't really get it.  And I'm not going to strain my brain to think about it.

They said something about the United States being known as Columbia. I've never heard that before.

7. Consulted Lord Wiki about the Columbia thing.  He does say yes. It's a name sometimes used for America.  It's kind of a poetic thing.

8. Read another article about the Malaysia plans.  The Labor government wants unaccompanied children sent to Malaysia as well, even though they know it's unlikely that children will be treated well there. There's the idea that if people know they'll be sent to Malaysia, they won't try to go to Australia.  Isn't the rough ocean on rickety boats enough of a deterrent?   I mean it's bad enough being stuck in the economy section of a plane.  To me, that's suffering; and I know it's nothing compared to the experience of being a refugee on a boat.

This is all ridiculous.  

The article talks about how Labor criticised the Liberal party for their handling of asylum seekers.  Now they're being just as bad. Maybe worse.

I think for now I withdraw all my support and faith in the Labor Party.

9.  Found an Australian book while doing some housework.  It was near the Powell's box. I guess I dropped it when I was taking the other books upstairs. It's The World Beneath by Cate Kennedy.  

I'm slowly making my way through Cry of the Rain Bird.  So far, it's mostly about the use of islanders in Queensland sugar plantations. They were known as kanakas.

That's the sad thing about countries like Australia and America.  We dragged people to our countries when we wanted them to do our hard work...usually without pay.  But now when people from far away desperately need a place to go, we want to send them away.  

10. Read blog post that Andrew sent to me, which is really a cut and paste of an article.    It's about Wendy Francis, the woman who fought against the gay condom ads.  She claims she's not homophobic.  If you don't believe her, ask her gay hairdresser.  I might believe it except for the fact that she's known to have once said on Twitter that legalising marriage would be akin to legalising child abuse.  She also compares children raised by two parents of the same gender to the stolen generations.

Wendy Francis reminds me a lot of Louisa Parkinson, one of the characters from the Magic is Might Experience. She's this very friendly woman. She's nice to everyone, even if they try to argue with her.  She's even very kind to my Muggle character.  Yet, she feels wizards are superior to Muggles; and that it's okay for the wizarding world to discriminate against Muggle-born wizards and Muggles.  She doesn't want any harm to come to them, but she doesn't want them to have equal rights.  I think that's how a lot of people feel about the homosexual issue.  They wouldn't support beating up a gay person or ridiculing them.  They accept that homosexuality exists. But they still think it's wrong, and they still think it's best if homosexuals are marginalised. 

You can chat with your hairdresser and enjoy their company.  But if you think the homosexual relationship would be damaging to a child living with them, I don't think you can escape the label of homophobic.  

11. Felt that if Wendy Francis didn't have the Twitter remark in her history, I could probably imagine she's a bit of a prude instead of a homophobe.  I think that's the image she's trying to push.  Francis claims it's not the gayness of the ad that bothers her; it's the sex bit. The thing is the ad is not that sexual.  I would say it's more romantic.  It's sexy in that the men are a bit hot. But that's about it.

Wendy Francis worries young kids will see it and start asking awkward questions.

Will most kids even notice it?  I don't think it's something that will appeal to most of them.

Let's say they do notice it. One of the guys is holding a condom.  To me, it looks a lot like a wrapped cherry lollipop.  If children do see the ad, they'll probably assume this guy is trying to satisfy his sweet tooth. 

What if a young child does start asking questions?  Well, I'd say maybe they're a bit precocious. And maybe they're the type of child who's ready to know about things.

It's like if you take a child to the zoo and the animals are having sex.  If you feel your children aren't ready for talks about sex, you can tell them the animals are hugging or playing a game. With other kids, you can say, Oh look. Those rabbits are having sex.

12. Went to the Follow the Yellow Brick Road website.   The star of the project is Robert Pennicott, a Tasmanian.  He went from being a fisherman to the owner of Bruny Island Cruises.  And now he's doing the polio thing.

This page has their itinerary.  Today they're traveling from Coffs Harbour to Brisbane. What's really neat is one way they're making money is by auctioning one or two seats on the boat. People can join in on their travels.  At first I was confused and thought they were auctioning boats.   But then I saw the bids; and they seemed a bit too low for that.

So far the highest bid is $2600 Port Gregory Caravan Park to Geraldton.  I wonder why that's brought in the most money so far.

No one yet has made a bid for Wednesday's journey from Gladstone to Yeppoon. Anyone interested? 

I have to admit I'm very impressed with this project.  I think it's brilliant. At first I thought it was some guy in a boat saying Look at me!  Now give money to polio, please.  That's really nice, but I'm not sure it would be that effective. I think the auction thing is great.

13. Went over to Tallygarunga.  I need to find out what's happening in the Australian wizarding community. I just noticed that there's a scoreboard for house points.   Sturt is at NEGATIVE 97.   What happened there?

14.  Saw that Reade Ainsworth was dancing and signing in the Flinder's Common room.  Another role-player got confused and thought Reade was singing instead of signing.  It's an understandable mistake.  The words are similar.  It doesn't mess up the flow of the story really, because signing can actually be singing.  Right? Instead of using your mouth and voice, you can use your hands.

I wonder, though.  In role-playing, what do you do when there's a major misunderstanding that can't easily be glossed over?  Do they re-write?  Patch it up somehow?  

15. Impressed with the confused role-player because she used an Aussie actress for her character's face claim thing.  Last night I started thinking about that. How many of these role-players are using Australian actors?   It doesn't really matter that much in general.  But it does matter to me.  Why?  Because that's the way I am.  Anyway, the role of Emma Rain is being played by Claire Holt from H20: Just Add Water.   She was also in Mean Girls 2.  I didn't even know there was a Mean Girls 2.   But there you go.....

16. Decided to read about Emma Rain.  She was born in Colac, Australia. I've never heard of that.

I'm looking at it on Google Maps now.  It's in Victoria somewhere. I need to zoom out.

It's west of Melbourne, and about an hour north of Apollo Bay.

I wonder if it's near Tallygarunga.  You know, I don't know where that's supposed to be. All I know is it's somewhere in Victoria.

Emma likes to swim.  She wears a little bit of lip gloss and a little bit of nail polish.   She wears flip-flops which again indicates that we have an American creator.  Actually, I peered down below and saw that the creator of Emma indicates that she's from the United States.   It's neat that she's American, and picked an Australian actress.  Maybe she's a fan of Australia like me. I do wonder about all these Americans on the site.  Do they love Harry Potter, and they found this fun site that happened to be Australian?  Or do many of them also have a love for Australia?

17. Saw that Emma has a complicated dramatic history.  Her birth mother died in childbirth.  Then her father ran off.  For some reason, she was adopted by seventeen-year-olds who already were parents of twins.  These young parents were very wealthy, because the father of the young dad was super wealthy. Then these parents kept getting more and more babies.   They had lots of twins.   Emma lives in a mansion with a bunch of twins siblings wondering why she doesn't have a twin of her own. She doesn't realise she was adopted.  

There's not much here about magic.   I think maybe Emma's creator is more into wealth and twins than the whole Harry Potter universe thing.

18. Read the continuing saga of Reade Ainsworth and Susan Summers.   Last time I saw the two of them together, they were about to fight over a book.  

It's cute. Susan took the book first, and said Reade could have it after her.   Reade said How gracious (sarcastically) in sign language.  Susan doesn't know sign language, and thought the guy was trying to do wandless magic.    

Who deserves the book more?  Who needs the book more?

Oh!  They're going to share the book. Maybe.  That might get cozy.  

19. Saw that Reade Ainsworth is having some flirtatious exchanges with Artemesia Bellerose.   I may be wrong, but I think they're just being cute and playful.  It seems to be in jest. Maybe.

20. Decided to learn more about this Artemesia Bellerose.  Mr. Ainsworth sure has a lot of women in his life. 

She's in Sturt house.   From what I've been reading today, it seems maybe Sturt is where the more wicked students get placed.  

Artemesia is a pureblood.  She's fifteen. She's petite like my younger sister.

She doesn't like wearing the school uniform.

Artemesia has a bad temper and doesn't easily make friends.

I like this description here.  ....if one truly managed to see past the tough exterior and the general trouble-making nature of the teen, then they would find someone who was quite loyal to those she was close to and would do anything to look out for them. Unfortunately, this 'anything' usually comes in the form of some kind of scheme or vengeance toward someone who wrongs the person she cares about.

Artemesia is starting to remind me a lot of someone I used to know on the internet.  She was very mean, but if she decided she liked you, she was friendly and supportive.  If she didn't like the way you treated one of her friends, she became incredibly cruel.    From that experience, I realised it's best to stay away from people like that.  It feels nice when they're your friends, but you have to look at how they treat the people they dislike and realise one day you may become a target.

Artemesia plays the piano and violin. In that sense, she might be a good match (or at least friend) for Reade.   But I don't know if I support the relationship.  If Reade dares to cross her, she might do something very hurtful to him. 

21. Learned that Artemesia's older sister Demi is deaf; so she might know sign language.

Ah....Demi's also a squib.  

The two girls have been to various magical schools.   Even though Demi was a squib, she was allowed into Beauxbaton.  I thought that was Krum's school, but I asked Jack and he said it was the French school.   Oops.

Okay, so both sisters went to Beauxbaton.  Then Demi was transferred to Hogwarts.  Artemesia didn't adjust well to her sister's absence.  She got into a fight which caused her to be expelled. 

The sisters did a school in Los Angeles, and then they moved to Australia.  

22. Decided not to try and follow storylines on Tallygarunga that are long and have been going on for many posts.  It will be way too hard to keep up.

23. Listened to some more ABC radio while exercising. They were talking about the E Coli problem.  That's some scary stuff.   I don't think it's in Australia yet.   I think we've gotten a few cases here.   Things travel so fast though.  Stories like that always make me think of things like The Stand.   You never know if something small is going to turn out huge, and kill most of us. 

I also heard that Quentin Bryce is in Italy.  She met with the Pope a couple of days ago. 

24. Received an email from Greg with a link to a Blackberry Sweepstakes.  The prize?   A trip to Australia!  As I was filling out the form, I thought I'm not going to share the link.   I don't want anyone else to enter because it will lower my chances. if thousands of people are reading my blog and following my links. 

Okay, but then I decided a person as selfish as that doesn't deserve to win.  So, here's the link.   

There's also the fact that most of my blog visitors come from Australia. They're a bit disqualified.   I think you have to be from either Canada or America. 

25. Went to the Australian Dictionary of Biography to find my Australian of the day.  It's the last of the William Allens.  The one for today is William Johnston Allen.    He's the son of William Bell Anderson, the protectionist from the other day.   William Johnston Allen was a protectionist as well.  

That's about it.

26. Read about the Solvarnan Wandcraft shop.   It's owned by an elf named Fendareniel.  

The shop is being visited by a werecat named Husam Kouri.  Oh!  He's the groundskeeper of Tallygarunga; kind of like Hagrid. I wonder if he knows Hagrid.  Maybe they have groundskeeper conventions somewhere?  

27. Found out that Fendareniel is a wild elf; not a house elf.   I'm not going to read his whole biography now.   I think I have to limit myself to a few biographies a day.     Otherwise I'll have to change the name of this blog to That Weird American Who's Obsessed with Tallygarunga.   If I could split myself in two, I'd totally do that. But I'm still obsessed with Australia in general, so I'll need to keep my blog title the way it is. 

I know.  Maybe I'll read about one dead real Australian everyday, and one Tallygarunga Australian everyday.  I think that will be a good balance. But I'll continue to read the stories/character-interactions through out the day.  

28. Decided to check up on Siany's YouTube Channel.  I wanted to see if she's uploaded any new songs.   And she has!

Here's her singing Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.  She has such a cute smile.  

I get bored just sitting here listening to music, even if it's beautiful.  So I'm going to multi-task.   Maybe I'll look at photos on Flickr.

29. Started to listen Siany sing Get Some Sleep.   I've never heard the song before.  I tend to listen to covers of songs I know; but I'm thinking I should also listen to ones that are new to me.   It will broaden my music horizons. 

While I do that, I'm looking at the most recent photos with the Australian tag. 

Here's a photo from a Bicycle Film Festival.   I'm very intrigued.   What's a bicycle film festival?   Does the audience sit on bicycles?  Are all the movies about bikes?  Will they have The Bicycle Thief?  

30. Went to the website for the Bicycle Film Festival.   It's worldwide. The one in Sydney is October 13-15.  

Okay.   I just looked closer at the photo.   Although it was uploaded recently, it's from 2010. The festival celebrates bicycling in various ways.   

31. Started to listen to Siany sing The Tide is High. I love that song.  So far, I'm liking Siany's cover of it.

I'm still looking at photos. Here's a spider.  It's a spider type way.

Here's Spiggycat's photo of the Opera House.   It looks beautiful like always.  I think it's my favorite building in the world. 

Spiggycat saw The Cure in Sydney.   Maybe it was in the Opera House? 

Yep.  Here's a review of the concert.  It was a few days ago.  

32. Started to listen to Siany sing It's Only Love.   It's a Beatles song.  I didn't think I had heard of it before; but it sounds familiar now that I'm listening to it.  

33. Saw this beautiful photo of kangaroos at the Blowering Reservoir.  It was taken by Otaheite RH.
You know I forgot to give credit to the photographers of the first two photographs I mentioned.  Oh well.  I'm too lazy to go back and find them.  If anyone is interested, they can follow the link.

Sorry for my laziness. 

34. Learned from Lord Wiki and Google that the Blowering Reservoir is in the Snowy Mountains area.

35. Started to listen to Siany sing Dream a Little Dream of Me.   That song always reminds me of the Corey Haim/Corey Feldman movie.   Although I have no idea what the movie is about.  

Lord Wiki reminds me that it's a body-switching movie.  I read the whole plot thing.  It sounds fairly interesting. 

36. Fell in love with JK Rowling all over again.   In this interview she totally speaks my mind.   There’s no point trying to hold back progress, but print will never die; there’s no substitute for the feel of an actual book. I adore physically turning pages, and being able to underline passages and not worrying about dropping them in the bath or running out of power. I also find print books objects of beauty, and I don’t speak as a precious, first-edition-mustn’t-crack-the-spine-type collector, but as somebody who loves a shiny new paperback, and the smell of second-hand books.  

That is so me.   I'm usually not materialistic; but I am when it comes to books.  I love them. I love opening my box from Powells and seeing all the Australian books.  I love looking at all the books on my bookshelf. And of course, I love to read the actual books.  

I don't think print will ever die. Even if they stop printing books for the most part, they'll still be millions of used books out there. There's so much more I could say, but really, JK Rowling already said it all for me.