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 friends....like 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 her 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 the bold, the mischievous, the open minded.
Sturt is The quiet, the clever, the ambitious.
Bourke is The loud, the loyal, the honest .
Flinders is 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 Australia 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 7 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'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.