Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Leaving, Homosexual, Preferences, and Blogging

1. Dreamed about Australia. I hear someone say that Sydney is this perfect place that will be wonderful to everyone...UNLESS they're greedy. I think about how I was sad in Sydney during our last days there in 2007. I decide it's because I greedily wanted to move there. I feel shame for this and think about how I was difficult to certain people because of my desires. I am wondering if I should maybe apologise to them. I decide not to; because these certain people were difficult back at me. So it's pretty much even.

I woke up a bit, then went back to sleep and continued the dream.... I get the feeling I had been wrong about the greed thing. I decide it's the opposite. I was supposed to move to Australia. This was my destiny, and I failed to fulfill it. But I have this idea that everything's okay now. I didn't follow my destiny, but I took a detour that made everything okay.

When I woke up, I pictured it being similar to driving with a navigation system. They tell you to go a certain way. But if you miss your turn, or ignore the computer voice, they'll help you to get back on track.

My feeling is I was supposed to move to Australia. But instead I started this blog, and the blog is a viable alternative. Maybe it's not about being in Australia, but somehow being connected to Australia.

2. Read Michelle's very sad post about doing an international move. They're from Sydney, and have moved to California. She talks about missing her mother, and how her kids miss their Nana.

I think they do love California though. And this is the second time they've lived there, so it's not a completely foreign land to them.

Michelle does a beautiful job of describing her mixed feelings. I occasionally have these moments myself, where I momentarily forget, and it sets off a painful longing to be back in the city I love with the people who sustain me. Sometimes it is nothing more than a pang, at other times a sadness that can be best described as grief. And then there is guilt when I realise how at home I am here, how sometimes it feels as if I had never left in the first place.

3. Went to the Scholastic Book store. I was surprised to see that they had Jaclyn Moriarty's Ashbury High series. I didn't realize they published the American versions of her books.

4. Read an article about crazy winter weather in the southern part of Australia. I hope everyone is managing to stay warm.

We're having nice weather on our holiday today. Friday was too rainy. Saturday was too hot. Today and Sunday have been fine.

5. Saw that ash from Chile's earthquake is still causing problems for Australian flights.

6. Found new threads to follow on Tallygarunga, and deleted ones from my subscription list that seemed a bit dead.

For now I'm going to read the continuation of Satisfy Your Soul. There's one new post.

It looks like they're not going to watch The Exorcist. Instead, they're going to watch Love Actually. I've never seen that, but I ended up using music from the soundtrack in my sister's wedding video. And I used another song for my parent's anniversary party.

7. Got a call from Tim. We were going to eat Indian food for lunch/dinner, but it turns out he's near The Tuck Shop; so he's going to pick me up a vegetable pie from there. That will be my third vegetable pie in three days. I think I'm eating more Australian food in NYC than I did in Australia.

I might be exaggerating.

8. Went back to reading about Reade and Arti.

Arti went to take her shower. Reade changed into some comfortable clothes, and then took out a history book. I wonder what type of history.

9. Tried participating in the Tally chat thing again. This time I was able to use my name (Dina) so I guess whoever used it before, gave it back. Or whatever. I'm not sure.

10. Decided to read another story thread, because I probably won't have time tomorrow. Tomorrow is going to be one of those hectic travel days.

I'm going to read "Reflections". It's a scene between Sareian Locke and Trevor Lairrims.

Trevor is a student, and Sareian is job hunting.

The scene takes place in the Murrigal Bushlands at Korrowi Creek. Another place I've visited in Murrigal Bushlands is the Wand Shop owned by the free elf.

11. Started to read "Reflections".

Sareian is an artist. He's struggling with the whole notion of having to make a living somehow. Hopefully he'll be able to make money with his art.

Trevor is a songwriter.

Maybe Sareian and Trevor can get together and make animated videos with really cool artwork.

For now they've had an accidental meeting at the creek. Trevor was about to do a magical drying spell, and Sareian says he has already done one. He's friendly and invites Trevor to join him.

Oh. They're gay. Or at least Trevor is gay. I wonder if Sareian is gay as well.

I wasn't expecting a romance here.

Speaking of gayness, I took some good gay-related photos yesterday. We were in the West Village, and they had some nice stuff.



The cakes were in a shop window.


There's another shop window. Jack was probably more excited about the Pac-Man game inside the store.


This is a monument near the Stonewall Inn. The Stonewall Inn is a famous place in terms of gay-rights history.

12. Ate a veggie pie and a veggie roll at Madison Square Park. I was a total pig. And we all shared part of a Lamington. Some of it may have had eggs, so I should feel guilty about that. I should probably approach eggs the same way I approach dairy; reduction rather than abstinence. Still, I want to avoid all that as much as possible.

Speaking of vegan things, we went to a great vegan bakery today. It's called BabyCakes. Tim and I had donuts; and Jack had a cupcake. It was all lovely; and the person working there was super sweet.

It was a bit expensive, but that's okay. What's neat is they have day old stuff you can buy for a lower price. We were bad though and bought full priced stuff to eat there. And although we usually share desserts, this time we each got our own thing. THEN we bought the sale stuff for later.

We are totally pigging out today.  It's our wedding anniversary though. So that's our excuse.  Plus we're on a holiday in NYC.   So, what would you expect?

13. Watched the dogs in the dog park at Madison Square Park. I thought of my younger sister. A few years ago she was totally obsessed with dogs. She read dog books and went on dog websites. Her emails to the family were very dog-focused. It seemed she was quite desperate to have a dog, as if her happiness depended on it. Her obsession was very much like my Australia obsession. Her need for a dog was like my need to move to Australia.

She got the dog. I didn't move to Australia.

My sister doesn't really seem that interested in dogs anymore. She takes care of Bryce and loves Bryce, but other things have taken up her attention. The dog is a member of her family now; not an obsession.

I guess that's what I wonder. If I had moved to Australia, would I still be obsessed; Or would it just be the place where we live? What if my sister never got a dog; and instead started a blog about dog-love?

14. Read another chapter in Fruitcake's book. In this one, she talks about the colonization of Australia. Like all the other chapters I've read so far, it's fascinating. Fruitcake talks about how the colonies were scattered and isolated in the beginning. She says, Most of the country was a land of 'anything goes' - Native Forces under the charge of White Leaders went into some - though not all - areas with the express intent of murdering as many natives as possible - with or without an excuse.

We still have hatred and violence towards people we feel are inferior. But there's definitely a difference between our period and their time period. It seems strange to imagine communities so isolated, without communication. These days we can be in instant communication with people on the other side of the world I'm not sure if it reduces the violence though. We sit on our computers and read about awful things happening around the world. We can sign petitions and write emails to politicians; but I think often we end up feeling pretty helpless.


15. Saw an advertisement for Australian Pink Floyd. It was in Times Square. I wonder what that is.

16. Went to the Australian Pink Floyd website. It's a tribute band that's made up of Australian people.

That's pretty cool.

17. Got email alert from Qantas. Now they have round trip flights to Sydney for 1438. Or so they say. They often advertise one price, but when I go to plan out flights, it's more expensive.

The travel dates are good this time though. Before the dates were for September, which would be way too cold for me. Now they're for October and November. Still, I think we'll hold out for 2012, mostly because we already have travel plans for those dates.

Also, I just saw that they're offering the October-November dates for DFW flights only. I really don't want to fly straight from DFW because it's around 19 hours up in the air. That would bother me way too much.

18. Thought about changing our Australia plans again. Jack mentioned the other day that his favorite part of the Australia trip is the holiday parks. We didn't have any long holiday park stays planned for our next trip. Then I started thinking about how big cities exhaust me. They exhausted me before, but now it's getting worse. Maybe I'm getting old?

I do think it's different living in a big city. You live there, so you don't feel compelled to see so much every day. You can probably sit at home, and run out for an hour or two to shop and eat.

Anyway, I had us in Melbourne for seven nights and Sydney for seven nights. I think that might be way too many big city days. It was Jack who wanted a long stay in Sydney. I LOVE that city, but am ready to switch to small visits to there, so we can have more visits to elsewhere. So I asked Jack if he'd be willing to give up a few days in Sydney for a few days in a holiday park. He said yes, but was barely paying attention. I think four nights in Sydney would be enough. That's what we had in NYC—three whole days. It would give us enough time to see our main attractions.

19. Decided that I'm not going to put too much time or focus into trip-plan changes until we have actual plane tickets. Otherwise, it's kind of a waste of time. There's a chance we won't be able to go in 2012. If we don't go until 2016, or something? Well, I'm sure all our interests will have totally changed by then.

20. Decided on the reasons I like Sydney more than New York.

a) I much prefer Australian accents over American ones.
b) Australia has wild parrots (to me that alone is enough reason to love Australia)
c) the Sydney Harbour!!!!
d) the beautiful beaches
e) the grocery stores have Australian food.
f) the bookstores have a lot of Australian books

NYC was utterly fantastic when I was in the clutches of my food-obsession days. NYC is a foodie's paradise; although I'm sure the same could be said for Sydney and Melbourne.

NYC is also probably great for people looking for fashion-type shopping. I think you can get a lot of bargains here in terms of clothes, jewelry, etc. But I wasn't really into that. I was interested in finding used books. I had imagined NYC would be a used-book lovers paradise.

I didn't find any shop that thrilled me. I much prefer the used bookstore in Fort Worth.

21 Enjoyed my hiatus from Facebook so much that I started thinking maybe I'd like to quit Facebook all together. Then I realized I really just want to quit certain Facebook friends. Of course, I won't drop them. That's too dramatic. I'll just do my usual muting thing. I've done it before. Then I feel guilty and un-mute them. This time I'm going to ignore the guilt. It's stupid to feel an obligation to reach out to people who never reach back; and annoy me enough to make me enjoy a break from Facebook.

22 Decided to watch episode #7 of Offspring. It will be my last episode until my birthday. Then I'll ask Tim to get me more iTunes gift cards. By then we'll probably know if we're going to Australia or not. If we're going, I'll save the rest of the season for the plane ride. That might make the ride less torturous.

23. Thought about how Offspring makes me fall in love with Australia all over again. If I wasn't already an Australia-obsessed American, watching Offspring would probably have put me on that path.

24. Tried not to cry on the plane. Episode 7 is horribly sad.

25. Wondered if Nina is making an allusion to Breaking Dawn with her line about protective force-fields.

26. Sad that I'm the only one I know who watches Offspring. I know there's other people out there who like it. Of course!  But I don't know of them personally. I mean no one has said to me, I watch Offspring too!

27. Decided Gina is my favorite friend right now because she recommended The Day I Became An Autodidact. I can't imagine not liking anyone who loves this book.

Can we judge our friends on what they like and dislike?

Maybe.

I had a friend who hated Modern Family. I thought we could get past that. And we did, actually. But we stopped being friends for other reasons. After the friendship ended, I wondered if perhaps I should have taken the anti-Modern Family thing as a sign.

Then again, Gina loves Wuthering Heights. I tried to read it and was bored. And you'd think I would love all Harry Potter fans, but I've encountered some people in the Magic is Might Experience that I wouldn't want as my friends.

Speaking of Harry Potter, last week I lost my temper with someone who criticized JK Rowling. I was shameful. But see….I can barely tolerate people simply saying they don't like Harry Potter, or that they have no interest in reading it. I'm totally incapable of tolerating literary criticism of the book or the goddess. I simply avoid it online, but this was in person and I couldn't quite get away.

I should learn to be more tolerant. Then again, I think that was the first time I've encountered live literary criticism of JK Rowling. Hopefully, it will be the last, so maybe I don't need to worry about personal growth in that area.

On the bright side, I didn't cry, storm out of the restaurant, or throw dishes at anyone. I was bitchy though, and I felt guilty about it afterward.

28. Had dream that was probably inspired by Offspring.    I suddenly realise I'm pregnant....very pregnant.  It's not like I didn't know.  I knew.   It's more like I knew that I am pregnant, but forgot that I didn't want to be pregnant.  Suddenly, I'm remembering. I'm not happy to be pregnant, but it's too late to turn back now. I'm wondering how Jack is going to feel about having a sibling.   

There's this idea that the father of the child is Julian McMahon, but there was no sex involved.  It's a pregnancy born in a lab.  I'm thinking though that Tim might not be too happy if he finds out about that.  

29. Dreamed about an Australian friend.   I'm a a university.  I'm at the library planning to read.   There's a young man sitting at the same table reading a book about Anne Frank and Martin Luther King jr.  The library is way too loud and rowdy.  We both decide to read outside instead, but not together.  We're not friends...just people with the same opinion about the library, and the same plans.   I'm thinking it will be good to be outside because I might accidentally run into this Australian friend of mine. There's this idea that he goes to the same school; yet we never see each other.  So the chance of running into him seems a bit slim.  

30. Dreamed about another Australian friend.   My friend is having a hard time.  I call her, feeling I need to be there for her.  But when we're on the phone, she's busy and has to say good-bye.  I get the sense she doesn't need me after all.  

31. Read editorial about the Villawood riots.   It's pretty interesting.   Julia Szego talked to a former member of the Victorian Parliament; Giovanni Sgro.   He came to Australia from Italy in 1952, and spent three months in a migration camp in north-east Victoria. He says it was the worst three months of my life.  He participated in a riot.

I think many of us look at the current rioters, and think they'd never fit into Australian society.  We'd never want their kind in Australia.  But then there's Sgro.   Not only did he fit into Australian society.  He became part of the government. I think it's kind of inspiring.

I like Szego's way of putting it.  But the point is that those involved in protests at Bonegilla (there was another in 1961) went on to become productive and law-abiding citizens; their lashing out owed more to a tough predicament than to essential flaws of character.

Some situations would make almost everyone go a bit insane. Sgro says, I'm disgusted with the government,'' he said. Spending nine or 12 months in detention would test anyone's sanity, ''I'm certain of it.   For him, three months was bad enough.

32. Learned from Lord Wiki that Sgro did his maiden Parliament speech in Italian.  I'm guessing there was someone there to translate.  I wonder if he didn't know enough English. Or did he do it as a pride type thing?

33. Saw from Statcounter that I have a lot of people coming to my blog for Offspring Season 2 spoilers.   I don't have any.  I only know about episodes that have been already broadcast.   And I'm missing information on episode #4.   Here I am hoping that someone will come to me to tell me what has happened; and instead people are coming to my blog thinking I might have extra information.
 
34. Read my cousin's blog post on swearing children in Australia.  According to my cousin's observations, Australians are more accepting of children saying words like "hell" and "damn" than Americans.  If this is true, our family would fit in great in Australia.   My cousin says her children would be denied iPods if they ever said "dammit" or "hell".  We allow Jack to say these things, along with other words; but try to help him remember that he shouldn't say these words out in public or in mixed company.    Some words would be much more embarrassing than others.   I wouldn't mind so much if he said "dammit" in the grocery store.  I might be humiliated if he said, "shit".

35. Watched a video that was sent to me in a promotional email.  It's Abbe May's Design Desire.   I don't dislike the song, but I don't really love it...at least not yet.   The video uses a lot of mirror visual effects.  Jack likes playing with that on the MacBook's Photo Booth.

36. Saw Orangetin's photo of the floods in the mid north coast of New South Wales.  It's a beautiful photo; but if you're actually living in the town with the flood, I'm guessing it's more troublesome than pretty.   

37. Read chapter seven of Fruitcake's blog/book.   She defends A.O Neville, the villain of the movie The Rabbit Proof Fence.  She doesn't deny his subtle racism or misguided actions, but says perhaps he deserves just a little credit for not being a total Nazi.  She thinks he wasn't trying to make Aboriginal Australians more white because he saw an inherent inferiority of their blackness. He felt they'd be more easily accepted into society if they were more white and less black. Neville was more about assimilation than he was about genocide.

The ideas of Neville remind me of things I hear today about children. We shouldn't let children do this or that because they might get teased.

Well, I wrote a post about all this on my homeschooling blog, and blabbed on and on about it many times on this blog. I won't waste our time by repeating myself.  

38. Went to Tallygarunga.   I'm going to read the one post continuation of Satisfy Your Soul.  When I last left Reade and Arti, Arti was in the shower and Reade had changed into some more comfortable clothing.   What will happen now?

Okay...so, Arti went into the bathroom to take a shower, but then realized she forgot to bring in her shampoo.   She had only stripped down to her singlet and skirt; so it wasn't too big of a deal.   I hate when I get naked for my shower and then realize I forgot something I needed.   What did I need?  I don't know.  Maybe my water bottle?  I get thirsty after I take a shower, sometimes.

39. Felt a bit jealous of Arti because she just got a big tray full of chocolate goodies.

40. Decided that since I'm home, I'll return to reading Tally biographies. Whose should I read today?

I decided to go to the member's list and once again look at those with the largest post counts.   I already did Vladimir Valentin VII.   Next on the list is Headmaster Alan Burdett.   I've seen his biography before.  I think his is the first I've read.  He was created by the creator of the site; Mousie.   I think Mousie's also responsible for the next person on the list.   Adele Devylissea.   I don't think I've read her biography before, but I know a little bit about her from reading other stuff.  She's Jezebel's mother and David's wife.  She's not so nice to Mereditha.  She was a queen in some island. Oh!  And she's also the mother of Améa.  

Now I shall go learn more.  

41. Started reading about Adele Devylissea.  

Some of it sounds familiar.   Maybe I have read this before.  Or maybe I read about another Tally character who has similar characteristics.  

42. Learned that Adele and Mereditha used to be close friends. That's very interesting.

43. Learned that the father of Adele's deceased child was Headmaster Burdett.   I probably learned that when I read about the Headmaster, but I forgot it.  Sometimes I have to relearn things.

44. Finished uploading our New Jersey and New York photos on Flickr. Here's the link if anyone's interested in seeing them.  

45. Started thinking that if we go to Australia, maybe I'll do my posts this way; write them while we're there instead of waiting until we come back and then struggling to remember what happened.    I can write them on Text-Edit and then post them every few days when we get Internet.   

I did love the format of my old trip posts, but this new way will be easier on me, and more timely.

46. Worried that my blog posts will be extremely long when we go to Australia, because I'm in the habit of blogging about everything and anything that I do or encounter that's Australia related.

When we were in New York, most of what we encountered wasn't Australia-related, so I didn't feel compelled to write about a lot of stuff.   When we're in Australia, everything is going to be Australia-related.    I hope I don't end up writing stuff like Went into an Australian shop and bought an Australian water bottle.   Later the water reached my bladder and I found an Australian toilet.   I had to wait in a queue with many Australians before I could find relief.    

Actually...toilet emergency stories are sometimes entertaining, so I probably WOULD want to include those.


47. Thought of the Gertrude Stein quote that was repeated a few times in The Day I Became An Autodidact.

I write for myself and strangers. 

I guess that's what I do for the most part.  I do know some of the people who read my blog—mostly through the internet, but a few in real life too.   I don't usually think of specific people when I write.   Every so often, I'll think of an individual, but mostly I think of my readers as one big generic mass.    I think this is for the best.  Otherwise, I'd probably be too self-conscious.  

I envy Kendall Hailey in some ways because her family seems to take an active interest in what she writes.   Minus my brother-in-law and Tim, my family usually doesn't, unless I guilt them into it.    My parents used to read every so often, but I haven't seen them on my Statcounter in a long time. Is it better this way?  Would I feel too self-conscious if they read my blog on a regular basis? Or would I feel better loved?

Kendall's parents are both writers.  Her sister writes too. Maybe writer families are more likely to support each other's work.  If my mom, dad, or sister had blogs, maybe they'd read my blog more in hopes that I'd read their blog in return.  

Jack has a blog.  I read every post that he writes, and any piece of other writing that he's willing to share.  But maybe this is because I write too.   It's something that interests me. I'm less attentive when it comes to Jack playing video games. 

I should make an effort to watch him more often. 

48. Wondered why my family doesn't read my blog more often.  Am I boring to them?   Are they simply not interested in my day-to-day life and passions?  Are they worried I'll say something about them, and it will hurt their feelings?   Are they worried they'll learn things about me that they don't want to know?  Am I too prolific and overwhelming?   I don't expect them to read everything I write, but maybe they feel compelled to do that.   They could get this idea that it's impossible to read everything I write, so it's easier to just read none of it (or almost none of it).  

Now that I think of it...maybe it's a combination of all of the above.