Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Pain, Turtles, Slaves, and Personality Tests

1. Remembered a VERY important correction to my post yesterday. It's about the chore thing.  It's very important that I set the record straight. Tim doesn't do all the trash.   I do some of it.  He does the main stuff in the kitchen; but I'm the one who mostly gathers the trash around the house—in the bathrooms and stuff.  

There's other stuff to add:   Tim cleans out the refrigerator.   We have pretty equal cat vomit duties.   No, scratch that.  I think I more often clean up cat vomit.  Tim does more of the cat pee cleaning/  Tim's obsessed with the cat pee.  The pee (and the cat that pees) is Tim's arch nemesis. 

2. Consulted Lord Wiki about Vegemite.  I wanted to see if it had Vitamin B12.  If I cut down seriously on dairy and eggs, that would be a concern.  Well, it's not the end of the world.  Vegans obviously thrive out there.   But I would need to find alternate sources.   I do sometimes take this massive Vitamin C drink thing.  It has vitamin B12. I guess that would work, but I know some people say it's better to get vitamins from food.  

Anyway, Lord Wiki says that Vegemite doesn't have B12. Marmite has some, but not a lot.  

3. Read article about the whole Nauru vs. Malaysia thing.  Tony Abbott is going to visit Nauru because there's talk of opening up the refugee detention places there.   He thinks Nauru would be better than Malaysia.  He wants Julia Gillard to visit Malaysia so she can see the conditions there.  I think they should both visit both places. I also think they should visit all the detention centres in Australia. 

Maybe they've already done that?

Why are refugees sent away to another country?  Are the detention centers in Australia too full?  

4. Read article that says there's now a temporary suspension on shipping live animals to Indonesia.   Cows were about to board a ship from Western Australia, and then they were turned away.  

This is good news; a good start.  But I hope it doesn't end here. From what I read the other day, Australia is not a utopia for farm animals.  Like America, it has factory farms.

Maybe animals are treated less worse in Australia than they are in Indonesia. But I don't think they're being treated okay.

I don't expect cows, sheep, pigs, and chickens to be treated to a life of luxury. They don't need gourmet food, bubble baths, tickets to Lady Gaga concerts, and birthday parties. 

I do think they should be treated no worse than the average decent person treats their pets.   They should get decent food, a name (so the farmer remembers they're an individual, and not just a product).  They should have comfortable cages and enclosures.  They should have respect.  They should have some playtime and fun. They should be able to enjoy their life before becoming someone's lunch.  

5. Decided maybe it's going too far to ask farmers to name all their animals. I don't name all the spiders, water striders, lizards, beetles, dragonflies, etc. that are in my life.   But I still have a lot of respect and admiration for them.  I try not to harm them, and I try to save them when possible.

6. Listened to ABC radio.    They talked about climate change and the carbon tax.   I agree with someone who said it's so hard to know what to believe.  There're so many different theories and opinions.  Are we very doomed?  Slightly doomed?  If we are doomed, is it really our fault? Can we make changes that will fix things?

Someone else said that whether we believe in climate change or not, one thing is much more definite.  Fossil fuels are not in unlimited supply.  Certain countries have control of much of the resources.  Sometimes it's difficult to get what we want from them.  We can drill in the ocean, but we know the devastation that can result from doing that.  So even if climate change was a chicken little type fantasy, it's not like we should gleefully use up carbon energy with no fear of consequences.

7. Read article about Julia Gillard defending the war in Afghanistan despite the recent four Australian deaths that have occurred.  

I do think some wars are necessary. I'm not a pacifist. I think people die in wars, and you can't stop a war just because there are causalities.

But with the limited knowledge that I have, I'm not seeing this war as having benefits for the world.   Does it?  What's the goal?   End terrorism?   Help Afghanistan?   I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to all of this.  And so maybe I'm wrong.  Maybe the war is important and all these sacrifices are worth something. 

To me it just sounds like one of those wars that go nowhere—like the war against drugs.  You can't rid the world of drugs.  You can't rid the world of bullies.  You can't rid the world of rape and murder. You can't rid the world of terrorism. 

Gillard defends the war by saying the families of the slain soldiers support the war.   They're not speaking out against it.  They're not saying that their sons died for nothing.  They feel the war is needed.  But maybe thinking that way makes them feel a little less horrible?  Maybe it makes loss slightly easier when you believe the one you love, and lost, made a noble sacrifice.

8. Read financial article that I totally don't understand, but I think it's saying that MAYBE the Australia dollar isn't going to go as high as previously imagined. 

I'd like it if the article was right.  

9. Read article that says chronic pain makes some Australians want to commit suicide.  I don't blame them really. I hate pain, and I hate feeling sick.  My moods are very dependent on my physical well-being.  

The interesting thing, though, is it seems it's not the actual pain that makes people want to kill themselves, but the stigma attached to it.  People see pains-suffers as drug addicts, complainers, people wanting to get out of working, etc.  It's hard though because sometimes people DO use small bits of pain to get out of doing stuff. 

It's complicated.  Some people are lazy and will use minor pain as an excuse to sit around doing nothing.   Some people will complain about their pain, but still manage to do stuff.   Some people will have pain; and silently and stoically go about their business.  Some people will put their health in danger by going about their business while ignoring the pain. 

Honestly, I've been on both ends of the story.  I remember as a teenager having horrible painful menstrual cramps.   It was less painful than labor, but not too far off.    I was in my bedroom moaning and crying.  My dad came in, annoyed, and said something like, It's not that bad.   Another time I complained about my very heavy periods to my parents.  My mom said something like, Are you sure it's not just all in your head?  All of that's very annoying. 

On the other hand, I've had times where I'm skeptical about someone's complaints.  Usually I try to keep it to myself, though. Because I know I might be wrong.  I'm secretly skeptical, which I suppose means I'm a bit fake. 

In the end, I think we should try to give people the benefit of the doubt.  The exception would probably be when it begins to seem that someone is too sick to do blah things, but often in great health when it's time to do fun things.  It's like the person who's too tired to get off the couch to do housework, but every time they go on holiday, they have tons of energy.

10. Read article that says plastic trash in the ocean is causing huge problems for sea turtles.  They try to eat the stuff and it kills them.

What I don't know is how the plastic gets into the ocean.  Does it escape the garbage and recycling centers?  Maybe it blows away?  Are people doing that much littering?  

We went on the Disney Cruise a few years ago. They have their own private island.   I was shocked and disgusted by the behavior of many of the other passengers. They just left their trash everywhere.  The idea was that it would be cleaned up later by the staff.  First of all, that's rude to the staff.    Yes, they're there to make life easier for us.  They're paid to serve us.   We pay good money for the cruise.  But that doesn't mean we have to be complete lazy asses.   It's not going to ruin anyone's vacation to walk five steps and put a bottle in the recycling bin...or trash.   I can't remember if they recycled there.

Second, there's this thing called wind and it can drag the plastic into the ocean before the clean up crew takes care of it.

I tried to be good.  I put my fun on hold, every so often, so I could try and clean up other people's messes.  If I was really saintly, I would have spent the whole time cleaning. But I'm not that wonderful.   

11. Sad that our greed, ignorance, apathy, and laziness is causing so much pain to animals (including humans).  No matter what we do and what we buy we're probably going to end up hurting someone or something down the line.  But I think some actions cause more shit than other actions.  

12. Stressed about emails.  I love getting them, but at the same time they make me very anxious, sometimes.  The thing is when I write my blog I have this fearlessness.   I feel this great sense of freedom.  I don't feel shy.   When I write emails, it's so different...especially when it's from someone new.   I worry about saying the wrong thing.   I worry about offending someone.   I worry about looking stupid.  I worry about revealing too much.  Once I've been writing to someone for awhile, I feel more relaxed.  But either way, sometimes it takes me a very long time to write a reasonably sized email.  I write stuff, then delete it.  I write something else, and then delete that.

I guess I feel more nervous talking to people on an individual basis?   Oh shit.  But that makes me sound and feel totally crazy, because I strongly believer we need to have these one on one conversations.  I get frustrated with people who think they can be my friends simply by reading my blog sometimes and/or liking my comments on their Facebook updates.

It's a lose-lose situation for me really.  If I get no emails for a few days, I feel sad and lonely. When I get an email, I have a mini-anxiety attack, especially if it's from someone new.

Well, I guess it's just something I need to work through. 

13. Had a deep thought.  Just because you're nervous about something, it doesn't mean that thing is bad.  And just because you're nervous, doesn't mean you're bad; or that there's something wrong with you.  So, you know what.   It's great that I get emails.   But it's okay that they make me feel nervous sometimes.  The thing is I'm actually brave about it; because despite my nervousness and worries, I almost always manage to write people back. It's not like I run from the fears. 

14. Impressed that I can put such a positive spin on my mental issues. 

15.  Went to the Australian Dictionary of Biography to read about my Australian of the day. Today I'm dealing with a dead bloke named Sir William John Allison

He was a businessman; born in Melbourne. 

He dropped out of school at the age of thirteen and went to work. At some point, he started taking accounting classes at night.  He later went to the University of Melbourne for awhile, but he didn't finish his degree. 

Sir. William worked for a company called Permewan Wright. They owned grocery stores.  This is where he started working when he was 13; and he moved up in the company. That's really awesome.   He started as an office boy as a young teen and eventually became the chairman.

I love stories like this.  Personally, I think kids are better off dropping out of school and joining the workforce.   The real world has better lessons than the classroom.   The only problem is it would be hard to find jobs for that many people.  Maybe some kids could do volunteer work instead, or entrepreneur projects.  

16. Learned that Sir William John Allison was pro-nuclear.  He thought the benefits outweighed the potential negatives. I don't know what to think.  Nuclear power can be terrifying.   It's horrible what happened in Japan.  But then there're fossil fuels, and that's scary too. Look what happened in the Atlantic Ocean. 

Life is terrifying.

Yet, it's also very fun and beautiful.  I need to remember that.  

17. Bewildered by this line about Sir William.  Generally good humoured, with a pleasant voice, engaging smile and erect carriage, Sir John had great managerial ability, as well as a quality of friendship and an ability to delegate which partly accounted for his success.

What's an erect carriage?  I read that and was thinking of a penis (because of the erection bit); then at the same time I was picturing a horse carriage type thing.

This dictionary website is saying that carriage in this context is similar to the word posture.  It's the way you stand and walk.  

18. Went to Tallygarunga

19. Ate two pieces of Darrell Lea Strawberry liquorice.  Tim bought it for me at Target.

20. Ate a third piece of Darrell Lea Liquorice.

21.  Decided to read an update about Camryn Adiarte's quest for a wand.  She's new to the wizarding world, and she's new to Australia.  Not so long ago, she was a Californian Muggle. 

Today there's a new post from Fendareniel, the guy who owns the wand shop. 

He's working with cherry wood. I wonder if Fendarenial's role-player knows a lot about wood.   Maybe it's her/his thing? 

Anyway, Fen comes out to greet Camryn. Then the scene ends there. 

I don't know if I mentioned this in yesterday's post, or just thought it in my head.  Maybe I told someone in email?  Well, I probably told someone in email; and then deleted that bit before sending it.  Anyway, I think I'm going to stick to reading one storyline a day. Sometimes it may be a long one and sometimes it may be a short one.  Otherwise, I'm going to get overwhelmed and confused.   Also, I put pressure on myself to get a lot done, and I start reading way too fast.  Then I miss many details.  

So I'll do one storyline a day, and one biography. 

22. Went to Fendareniel's biography.   I don't have an easy time spelling that guy's name.

I peaked at his bio the other day, and learned he's a wild elf.  Today I'll learn more.

He was born in 1960, in Rannalen Queensland.  I've never heard of that town, so I'm not sure if it's real or imaginary. 

Well, I googled and didn't find anything. I'm guessing it's imaginary.

Fendarenial is taller than a house elf.  He's about four feet.  I wonder how tall a house elf is. I have no idea.

23. Learned Fendarenial is not like me.  He doesn't blab on and on about things. He seems to have self-control when it comes to conversation.

24. Liked this description.   He displays the whole range of emotions from joy to anger and sadness, but he does not show them as obviously as most. Changes in voice and demeanor are there, but subtle. If a person knows him well enough or even a little perceptive, they can most likely notice the change in his attitude. However a person minding their own business and paying no attention to the elf at all would likely not notice if something was bothering him.    It would be nice if people were more perceptive in the world.   Then we'd know when those around us need a little more love and attention. That way people would probably be less likely to act out with the attitude of, look at me!  Look at me! I'm sad!

Yes, we live in a world of drama queens. Yet we also live in a world of oblivious people who don't notice that their friend is depressed or angry.

25. Learned that Fendareniel isn't too happy about the whole house-elf situation.   For those not familiar with the Harry Potter universe, house-elves are used as slaves by wizards.   It reminds me a lot of the book I'm reading now; Cry of the Rain Bird by Patricia Shaw.  The book deals with the subject of Kanakas.  These were slaves taken from the Pacific Islands. They were brought to Queensland to work on the sugar plantations.  Some characters are very Lucius Malfoy when it comes to how they treat the Kanakas.  There's one man who's rude and demanding with them.  He gives very little respect and consideration to the Kanakas.   That being said though; he also doesn't give much respect to his Caucasian wife or Caucasian employee.

Other white people are kind to the Kanakas.  But there's that question.  Even if you're kind to your slaves, is it okay to have them?   

I don't know.  In some ways, I think slavery is more about how someone is treated than whether they get paid or not.   Now of course it's good to get a salary, but sometimes people are paid in other ways, such as shelter, food, clothing, etc.

I think many people with paying jobs are treated like slaves.  Waiters get paid, but I think often people treat them like slaves.   How many times have I seen people order their food without saying please.  How many times have I seen the waiter bring something to someone, and they don't get a simple thank you?  I personally think this can be worse than someone who has an unpaid worker, but is very kind and considerate towards them.  

26. Thought about how some of the Kanakas in Cry of the Rain Bird remind me of the house elves in Harry Potter.  They seem happy to serve their master, and like Dobby the House Elf, they seem extremely gracious for any kindness directed at them.  Why?  And does this attitude exist only in fiction; or are there people like that in real life?

It wouldn't be me.   I don't horribly mind serving others, but I hate when people have the attitude that they're better than me and entitled to my services. I felt that way sometimes as a preschool teacher—from the parents, not the kids. 

Are there people out there like house-elves, those who don't mind being in a subservient role?   It's hard for me to imagine.  I picture people doing it because they need the money or they think the role is a stepping stone to better things.  How about people who are assistants to celebrities, especially the diva types?   Do they enjoy the work simply because they get to be next to a god-like superstar?  Or do they hate it, and hope someday to be in the superstar's shoes?  

27. Read advice on Fendareniel's bio page.  All in all, unless you are the kindest and most courteous of masters, if you have an elf, your best off not bringing them into Niel's store.  That makes sense. 

He also puts blame on the house-elves themselves. Why do they allow themselves to be treated that way?  I don't know.  JK Rowling didn't really explain that.   Did she?

I guess it's low self-esteem essentially. It's the belief that they're lesser than their master. 

28. Read Fendareniel's history.  It's interesting.   He was born in a community of elves that were not enslaved, and kept their distance from the human world. Growing up, Fendareniel encountered an elf who was ostracised from his community.  Fendareniel wondered why, and later learned it was because that elf had gone to live with humans.   It's kind of like that Centaur in Harry Potter.   What was his name again?  It starts with an F.   I'll go look it up.... 

Firenze.  That's it.  He helped the wizards, and was kicked out of his tribe. 

Fendareniel became friends with the rebel elf, and learned about the human world.  Then eventually he took the same path.  He decided to share his wandmaking skills with the wizarding world.   His family disowned him, and like the other human-friendly elf, he got ostracised by the community. 

The elf is one of those who's caught between two world.  His own people rejected him, and I'm sure the human wizarding world isn't going to treat him completely fair.  Some of them are not going to be understanding of his freedom.    

29. Felt happy that I found Tallygarunga.  There's many reasons for my Tallygarunga happiness, but one of them is that some of the Tally people read my blog now.  This is nice because sometimes I feel like I'm boring all my readers when I blab on and on about Harry Potter related stuff.  Now I might have readers who are interested in all that.  I get the sense that I didn't before, but I don't know for sure.

30. Read article that says it's going to be very cold in the Snowy Mountains today.   There may even be a blizzard.  Hopefully, it won't cause much damage or hardship.  Maybe it will be one of those snow storms where you build snowmen, go sledding, drink hot chocolate, and get the day off of school. 

31. Read article that says a recent poll shows three out of four Australians think gay marriage will become legal.  That's kind of a tricky question.   Do they WANT gay marriage to happen, or do they just think it's going to happen whether they like it or not?  It's like those Oscar prediction games.  I get confused over whether I should pick the movie I want to win, or pick the movie that I think should win. It's not necessarily one and the same. 

From other polls I've heard about though; I have the idea that most Australians support gay marriage. 

I read an article today about Modern Family.   It says that some research firm has gotten results showing that it's one of the most popular scripted shows among conservatives. I think most people are starting to understand that homosexuality is not the opposite of conservative and/or family values.  

Family values is about love, stability, respect, and support.  It's not about penises and vaginas. Cam has a penis, but he gives his daughter motherly love.  

32. Looked at this forum on Tallygarunga.  Someone found this elaborate personality test, and provided the link so people could do the test on their characters.  I'm thinking I want to do the test.  But should I do it for myself or my character?   I don't know if my character is as well developed as a Tallygarunga character.   Well, maybe taking the test will help me learn about her.  Or I could just end up feeling like a failure.  

Honestly, I think I pretty much modeled Alex after myself; but I made her fifteen.  Is that vain?   Yeah.  Probably.  

No...now that I think of it.  She's different.  She's more outgoing and optimistic than me.

Well, I'll do the test.  Later.  First I'm going to look at the Tallygarunga scores. I'll just look at the extremes. 

33. Noticed a few of these characters are not in the game right now.   They're in the character Repository.   I think that means they're in limbo. No one is playing them right now.   I could be wrong.  And guess what.   I'm in the repository.    Someone should come along and adopt me!  They can be my role-player.  I'll give them some storyline ideas.  How about I win the lottery. Then I buy plane tickets for Australia. 

We'll start with that, and then we can move onto other things.

34. Decided I should return to what I had planned to do—read the personality tests results. But I'm just going to read the ones of active characters.  

First there's Eudoxia Karrass.   I think I've seen her before, but I forgot where.    She's very orderly and adventurous.  I bet she's good at packing for camping trips.  She has a good work ethic.

She has a high score for conflict seeking.  I guess that mean she likes having problems?  She has high sexuality scores and she's physically fit.

Professor Hoon Yu is the History of Magic Professor.  He's stable and avoidant. 

He's not very religious or vain. 

Forrester Smith is also not religious, and like Eudoxia, he's very adventurous.  I wonder if they know each other. 

35. Excited to see that Adrian's score is up here.   I already feel bonded to this guy.  He's the one who divorced Meri and is now having an awkward encounter with her at the dinner party. What's his score?  

He has a high score on accommodation.  I'm not sure what that means.   Is it like doing things to make other people feel more comfortable?    He's cautious and had a strong work ethic.   He doesn't like conflict.  I think I remember reading that in the story. 

36. Saw that Emily Smith is here.  She's the one who met up with Tamarah in the common room; and she looks like Kirsten Dunst. She has a high physical fitness score and a low religious score. 

37. Decided to take the test for my character.   I'll tell you if she gets any very high or very low scores.  

That was VERY fun, and I realized I'm much more different than Alex than I realized.  AND more importantly, I do know her more than I imagined.  

Her highest score is extraversion. I don't think that's like me.   Her other high scores were in accommodation, mystical, and dependency.  Her low scores were in conflict seeking, hedonism, and religion.  She's also rather low in vanity, individuality, and avoidance.  

38. Went to go take the test for myself.  I also want to take it for Julia, Alex's older sister. 

39. Questioned the validity of the test.   My highest score was in physical fitness. This is just from the fact that I said I like to exercise.  Yes, I like to exercise.  But I never said I exercised a lot.  And there's also the fact that I eat a lot of junk food. 

According to the test I'm also mystical and anti-authority. I can agree with that. 

The test says I'm not hypersensitive. That's so not true! 

It's kind of a stupid test...in terms of the results.   They pretty much repeat back exactly what you answered.   Is religion important to you?  No?   Okay, then you're not religious.   Do you like to exercise? Yes?  Okay.  Then you're physically fit.

I do think taking the test is a good way to get to know your character more.  I don't think you really need to read the results though.    When I took the test for Alex, it helped me bring up things in my subconscious.   It's stuff I probably already knew about her, but I never thought about it in a concrete way.   I realized she doesn't like exercising.   Friends and travel are very important to her.  One of her biggest fears is losing her family.  

She's definitely not physically fit. She doesn't love exercise, and she loves sugar.   She's not totally inactive. She walks on the beach and plays in the water.   She once went on a hike to find her missing sister.   But she's not the type to go to the gym. It's not something she thinks about.  

40. Decided not to take the test for Julia, mainly because I don't think the results are valid.   But also, she's very confused right now.  She's recently had her heart broken in a horrible way.   I think she would claim to be totally uninterested in romance and sex; but deep inside that's very much not true.   Romantic love is extremely important to her, even though she's going to try to deny that.