Monday, June 6, 2011

Pizza, Peter Combe, Animal Products, and Tamarah

1. Dreamed about our Australian friends.  They're busy and ask me to do them a favor.  They want me to stay in their daughter's room while she sleeps.  They have this thing where someone is always there when she wakes up. There's this idea that if she wakes up alone in her room, she'll be upset.   I tell them I'll do it. 

2. Looked up movie Dirty Deeds on IMDb.  Tim watched it last night.  It's with Toni Collette, John Goodman, Bryan Brown, and other people. We thought it took place in the 1970's, but I see here that it was the 1960's.

The thing that surprised us about the movie is that some of the characters don't know what pizza is.   Was there not pizza in Australia in the 1960's?

I do remember hearing that, in America, at one time, Italian food used to be seen as exotic. It's so weird to imagine.

3. Found website about the history of pizza in America.  They said it appeared in the early 1900's, but it didn't become widespread and well known until after World War II.  

I'm guessing that in the 1940's through 1960's pizza was like Middle Eastern and South-East Asian food is today.  Many people have heard about it, but you're more likely to have eaten it if you live in a big city.  For other people, it can still seem very exotic.    

4. Listened to Cook Islands being promoted as a tourist destination on ABC radio.  They were pretty convincing.  I'm sort of wanting to go there now.  At least I'm interested enough to want to learn more.

5. Learned that the Cook Island currency is the New Zealand dollar.  And that is still lower than America's dollar now.

If the NZ dollar is lower than the American dollar, than it's also lower than the Australian dollar. It would probably be another great destination for Australians right now.

6. Learned from an American rap group that Australia is racist; well not all of Australia....just Brisbane.  Yes, because they're home country is so full of love for people of all races.  In America, everyone is treated equally and loved equally. We don't do racist things. We don't even think racist thoughts. This is proven by the fact that our President is black, and everyone loves Oprah.

Seriously, though.

Labeling a whole city as racist, because of a bad incident, is just as bigoted as being against an ethnic group.

Apparently one of the rappers had a negative encounter with someone in a fast food restaurant. Then he went on Twitter to announce that Brisbane is full of racists. 

It's ridiculous and hypocritical.  

7. Read Andrew's fun post about the division of labor at his home. Of course, it inspires me to write about ours. 

Tim does most of the cooking, and when he cooks he also usually washes the main dishes. That makes me feel spoiled.  I'll usually help by wrapping up the leftovers and putting them in the fridge.

We both probably do an equal amount of dishwasher work. And Jack helps too.

Tim cleans the bathrooms.

I do all the dusting.

We both vacuum.

I do almost all the laundry, although sometimes Tim will suddenly realize he needs something washed.  He's a nice husband, and doesn't ask for me to do it for him.  He'll go and do it himself.

He does most of the shopping and finance stuff.

I do most of the cat stuff. I feed them and clean out the litter box.

I'm usually in charge of getting Jack to clean up.  I'm pretty awful at this.

I do most of the packing for trips—including ones to the lake house.  I pack for Jack and myself, with help from Jack.  Tim will pack for himself, and he'll also pack up needed food for the meal he cooks there.  I also usually do most of the unpacking.

Tim does the trash.  I used to do it when he was out of town. I hated it. So I'm glad these days he's usually here on trash days.

8. Read Andrew's post about a beautiful building that was demolished in Melbourne and replaced with an ugly building.

The world confuses me sometimes.  

9. Saw from Statcounter that people are coming to my blog to find out if Dr. Chris Havel is returning to Offspring.  I don't know.   I'm only on episode three.  I think I'm one or two behind. I guess he hasn't returned in the newer episodes.  Otherwise people wouldn't be asking.

This is my guess.  I think he's going to come back.  Nina is going to be happy with the new doctor.  Life is great, and then Dr. Havel will return.  There will probably be a massive love triangle. I kind of wish it wouldn't happen, because those storylines annoy me.  I guess you need conflict somewhere though.  

10. Read article that says, with the migration that's happening in Australia, by 2050 the population will be thirty-six million. That's scary.  But it probably fits in with the rest of the world. If the world population keeps increasing, it makes sense that Australia will become more crowded as well.

People keep making babies. If this was reduced worldwide, we might be better off. 

Also, people are living longer and longer lives.

People want to live for a very long time. That's understandable. People want to keep making babies.  So I guess we have to come up with another solution.

How about we learn how to shrink ourselves? If we're all under 12 inches, there'll be tons of room for everyone.

11. Read article that says international tourism has gone up in Western Australia. That's good news for them, but maybe not good news for me. I thought with the high Aussie dollar, it would go down.   Then Australia would want to bring in more tourists, and prices would be lowered.

Western Australia is crediting Oprah for their popularity among American tourists.

I guess I should be happy for Oprah and Australia.  But I'm not. Sorry. I'm too selfish.

12. Started to listen to Boy and Bear's Fall at Your Feet.   It was mentioned in an email I received.    I think I may have listened to it before.  It's a cover of a Crowded House song, and I vaguely remember listening to a Boy and Bear Crowded House cover before.  

I like the song.

13.  Started to listen to the Crowded House version of Fall at Your Feet.  I like this one too.

14. Decided to look at photos while I listen to music.

Flickr's taking a long time to load today.

Okay.  It's here now.  I went to the most recent photos with the Australia tag.  Here's one of a Hungry Jacks in Sydney. The photographer is JEA!!

15. Started to listen to Mean to Me by Crowded House.  I got this song from the same email.

There's cool windup toys in the video.

There's a lot of dialogue before the music starts.

I think I've heard of this song before too.

16. Liked JEA!!'s photo of Coles.

17. Liked JEA!!'s photo of an alley in Sydney.  

18. Started to listen to another video from the email.  This one is Helping Hand by The Screaming Jets. I think it has a little bit of a Reggae feel.

19. Noticed that my Firefox dictionary has totally abandoned me.   I spelled Reggae, and it didn't say I was wrong.  I was pretty sure they were wrong about me being right.  I checked the spelling and I was right about being wrong. Then I tested the dictionary by typing in random letters. The dictionary didn't say anything!

What's going on?

The dictionary is failing to give me a helping hand.

20. Switched back to the Australian dictionary. That one's working.

No.  Now it's stopped working.

This is weird.

21. Turned off the dictionary. Then turned it back on again.  It worked and then stopped again. I wonder if this is happening to other people?

22. Introduced to Peter Combe.  This is from the same email I've mentioned above.  Combe is a singer of children's music.  I love kid songs, so this is awesome. Now I have something besides the Wiggles to love.

I'm listening to Mr. Clickety Clane now.  I like the song and at the same time I don't like it. It's kind of the same feelings I had for Chocolate Rain when I first heard it.   

When I first started hearing the song, it annoyed me.  By the end, I was sort of liking it.  Then after it was finished, I kind of wanted to hear it again.

23. Consulted Lord Wiki about Peter Combe.  Apparently he was the inspiration for The Wiggles.

What's cute is Combe is now doing concerts for young adults—the ones who grew up with his music.

24. Went to Peter Combe's official website

Here are his 2011 tour dates.   He's going to be in Melbourne on July 23.   I'm not sure if this is one of his shows aimed at adults; or is it for kids?

25. Went to the Thornbury Theatre website, because this is where the concert is going to be.   It's for adults.  In fact, you have to be at least 18 to attend.      

26. Watched Peter Combe's toffee apple video.   I love it, maybe because I love toffee apples.  Here we call them candy apples usually.  Hey, and they're vegan! I've been trying to think of vegan foods I like, so I'll eat less dairy.

The video has a bit too many scary clown images.  But it's still very nice.

I like how the video promotes junk food, but at the same time encourages healthy behavior.  Eat sticky candy, and then brush your teeth.  That works for me.

The sun in the background looks a bit evil.  

27. Went over to the Australian Dictionary of Biography to meet my Australian of the day. It's Peter Smith Dawson.     He was a singer and songwriter.

Peter was born in Adelaide and was the youngest of nine children.

He did singing in his youth, then he went to England to do more singing.

He met a female singer and married her. They toured together.   But then a car accident cut her career short.  I wonder what kind of injuries she had.

Peter did concerts, but what brought him even more success was the gramophone. His singing was recorded so people around the world could enjoy his music.   What's interesting to me is he used fake names for his recordings.  I've heard of writers using pseudonyms, but never a recording artist.

 28. Realized that I've listened to Peter Dawson's music before. I'm so embarrassed when something like this happens.   I went to YouTube to see if they had any of his songs. The links are highlighted, meaning I watched them before.   I remember when now.  It was when I was looking at photos on the National Library of Australia website.

29. Listened to Song of Australia by Peter Dawson. I don't think I've heard this one before.  

I'm listening to this while looking at my niece's 10th birthday party photos.   It's a weird combination.

30. Listened to Peter Dawnson sing The Floral Dance.

31. Wrote a post for my Harry Potter blog.  I talked about Sydney a little bit.

32. Listened to Peter Combe sing Juicy Juicy Green Grass.  

33. Went to visit my new favorite place in Australia: Tallygarunga.  And guess what. While I'm there, I have the green grass song in my head.

I see two new posts have been added to the Calder Avenue storyline.  One's from Jezebel, and the other's from Meri.  What's happening now?

Most of Meri's scene is about Améa receiving the gingerbread man.  I guess Améa is not a full character yet, so she doesn't get her own posts.

It's a touching scene.  Améa was adopted and then abandoned by her adoptive family.  Now she's stuck back with her biological family.

This part here tugs at my little heart.   It wasn't easy. The gingerbread was soft and delicious, Améa wanted to scoff the remainder of the cookie immediately, stash the box away in her room somewhere, where she could be sure that Caleb, Chrissy, David or her mother wouldn't find it. They were hers, damnit! But no. No getting attached. Cooking was just another of the many ways people manipulated you, someone had told Tamarah her weakness. Someone would pay for that.

34. Decided to read a Tallygarunga biography.  I think I'll read about Tamarah, the girl who makes gingerbread biscuits.  She's a Half-blood student in her seventh year at Tallygarunga.   Her house is Spencer.  I need to learn more about the houses at some point.   Are they based on personality and strengths like the Hogwart houses?  I know one house might be for darker students.   I forgot which one that is. Was it Sturt?

Tamarah is muscular and athletic.  She's the opposite of me—doesn't like skirts and dresses.  I love them.  I think they're so much more comfortable than pants.  Although I'd probably prefer shorts over skirts and dresses.

Tamarah is good at lying and will deny any wrongdoing.  It annoys me when people are like that.

So far I'm not loving Tamarah.  I don't imagine we'd be good friends Although I wouldn't mind if she made me some cookies.

This part reminds me of me, although it probably reminds most people of themselves:  When she’s upset she will try to hide her feelings from them fearing they might see her as inferior or weak but isn’t so pent up about it that she wouldn’t open up with a little bit of prying. Deep down she understands that sharing her burdens are easier on both her and everybody, but at the same time has a hard time forgiving herself for not being able to tough it out solo. 

The thing I can't relate to in that is things becoming easier if I share my burdens.  Well...sometimes it does work.  There are times where I feel awful, talk to someone, and they help me to feel better.   But more often than not, I end up feeling worse when I try to reach out to someone for help.

This blog is good because for some reason I feel more comfortable talking to a general and invisible audience.   Why?  I don't know.

35. Saw that Tamarah has two brothers.  One is named Tim. Yesterday, I saw the table setting in the Calder Ave storyline.  It said Tom Tim Tam.....

I thought maybe it was just a joke.  I guess it's not.  But I wonder if it was done on purpose?

36. Learned that Tamarah is a lesbian.  She used to be ashamed, but now she's okay with it. That's good.

Okay.   Now we're getting into some family tree stuff. Tamarah's dad is Stuart.  He's the guy who brought Meri as his mystery date to the family party.

Oh...wait.   Tim, Tam, and Tom are all triplets.  I missed that before. Then Jezabel is their older sister.  I guess it's a half-sister though?  Wasn't Jezabel Adele's daughter?

No....It says here that Tam is the second daughter of Stuart and Tanya. I guess that means Jezabel is the first.

I'm so confused.

37. Decided to read the Calder Avenue scene again.   I must have read something wrong before.  

Okay. Jezabel does call Adele by her first name, and not mum.   Although that doesn't necessarily mean anything. Jack calls Tim by his first name, and sometimes he calls me "Dina".

38. Found the part that confused me.  Adele says, Look at that,  David.   My two adult daughters.  And you think you're old.  I was almost a grandmother.    I assumed she was referring to Jezabel.   I think she is actually, but maybe Jezabel is not her biological daughter. Maybe she's a stepdaughter?  

I'll learn more as time goes by. I like having these little holes of confusion. It makes me want to read more so I can figure it all out.

39. Started to watch a video review of A Fraction of the Whole.  The video was on my YouTube recommended videos thing. The girl doing it is American, and she reminds me so much of one of the Magic is Might Experience role-playing people.   I guess they have same accent?

I like watching this video because it's jogging my memory about the book, which I love; but I've already forgotten most of it.  I did think of the book a few weeks ago.   I was talking to someone who doesn't believe in life after death.  She started talking about our cells living on within the earth, and isn't that absolutely wonderful.  I thought of the part in the book where the father character talks about how a continuation of ourselves without consciousness is complete crap and nothing to look forward to.  I loved that part, because it's exactly how I feel. I want to continue on as ME....I'm fine with reincarnation as long as we get to remember ourselves again once we die and go into the in-between world.  But I find no comfort in imagining my spirit lives on in some kind of mass mindless group spiritual continuation thing, or that my body decomposes and helps the plants grow.

The only way I can feel okay with death is to imagine I'm going to go on and on in some other form with my personality and memories intact (at least most of the time).  If I'm wrong, I'll be wrong and I won't even know it, so who cares?   I might as well keep my delusion and be happy.   If other people are okay with losing themselves, more power to them.

40. Figured it was time to end my tangent, and return to watching the book review video.  

I'm remembering more of the book. I need to read it again someday. I think it's one of the best Australian novels.

41. Thought about how I'd like to be vegan, but life is so much less beautiful when it's lacking ice-cream.  Can't farmers get their act together and start treating cows with compassion?    I know that some do, and that's wonderful.   Maybe more and more people will become aware, and fight for what's right.  I don't know if strict vegans help because they want the animal industry to disappear pretty much completely. Farmers don't need to improve for them because they're not going to be buying the products.

I look forward to the day when more ethical products are available. You can buy stuff now, but it's expensive and hard to find. It's often not readily available.

42. Went back to Tallygarunga.  I want to find more information about the school houses. I'm not sure where to look.

Well, I can't find anything.

Maybe there isn't a description?   I thought I saw one awhile back.  I could have imagined it. Maybe it's not like Hogwarts, where each house represents something different.

43. Found a Tallygarunga sorting quiz on Quizilla.  So maybe each house IS for a different personality.

Let's see where I land.  

I got Bourke which is sad since I got it confused Burke before.

The Bourke student is resilient and loyal. They will stick beside their friends to the point of death. They are trusting, and can often be betrayed by those they love most. More sporty than the rest of the houses, the Bourke student enjoys the outdoors and the thrill of physical activity. Being cooped up indoors is not something the Bourke student typically enjoys, although many are good scholars. The Bourke student prefers practical work over theory, and doesn't mind getting dirty in the pursuit of new knowledge. When threatened, the Bourke student is easily angered, particularly where friends or family are involved. The Bourke student is typically overprotective of those closest to them, making them a good friend - and a fearsome enemy. 

The description doesn't really sound like me. I'm not very trusting.  I like the outdoors, but I prefer the indoors. I'm definitely not sporty.

I am easily angered..sometimes.   I might be overprotective at times. I'm an okay friend, probably.   I don't think I'm a fearsome enemy.

44. Realized that I'm slightly depressed. It's okay. I'm just having ethical confusion. I don't know what to do with the whole dairy thing.

Do I try to forget what I learned yesterday? least for now.  Within a few weeks I may forget.   It's like the bus safety videos we saw in school.  They showed kids acting rowdy. Then the bus crashed. If It remember correctly, it was pretty gruesome.  I think there was even blood shown.  

Anyway, on the way home after seeing the video we were all very terrified and well-behaved.  But within a few days, we forgot the scary message and went back to our old habits.

Do I become vegan again—even though I failed after about a month last time?   And if I do become vegan, do I become one of those who obsessively read ingredients and avoid anything with the slightest bit of milk protein?

Do I become a vegetarian who just avoids obvious dairy products....milk, ice-cream, cheese, etc.   That sounds reasonable.   My conscious will like it, at least.  Okay, but if I do this, do I allow myself to eat the dairy already in our kitchen?  

45. Decided maybe the best thing to do (for me who's not the perfect holy vegan type) is to just be very conservative when it comes to dairy products.   I like to pile on the cheese when I make nachos.   I can still have cheesy nachos, but I won't act like a total pig about it.   I'll stick more to guacamole and salsa.  When Tim makes pizza, I'll maybe ask to do my own cheese; and I'll be really light about it.   I'll have ice-cream, but the smallest size possible.   And I'll try to save ice-cream times for special days.  I love going out for ice-cream, especially when we're on a holiday.  I don't want to completely give that up.  

Sorry for all this rambling.  Writing helps me feel better though.  Yeah. Really. Sometimes this blog is my therapy.

46. Had a troubling question enter my mind.  The vegetarian and vegan movement has become more popular in the last decade or so.   It's definitely easier to find vegetarian food. There's vegetarian restaurants and vegetarian food at the grocery store. People less often look at you like a freak when you say you're vegetarian.  But has the movement put a dent in the animal industry at all?   Are less people buying beef?  chicken?  dairy products?   eggs?   Is the animal industry taking any losses?    Have things gotten any better for animals?  I don't know.

The thing is, for every vegetarian there's a hungry hungry carnivore.  My dad is the father of two vegetarians now.  We don't eat meat.  But I don't think our abstinence has had any effect on his buying decisions for our lake house weekends.  He doesn't buy less meat knowing that we won't eat it.  He buys the same amount, and encourages the meat eaters to eat a ton.  The other day he bought a lot of chicken.  There was a ton of chicken, plus a ton of lamb.   The next day he reheated the chicken for leftovers. The problem is there was a ton of other leftovers, so hardly anyone ate the chicken.   You're not supposed to reheat meat twice, so it had to be thrown away.   All these chickens were wasted.  They died for... NOTHING.  They lived a life of hell on a factory farm for NOTHING.  My being vegetarian didn't help them at all.

Now don't get me wrong. My dad is super sweet about us being vegetarian.  He goes out of his way to buy us special food. He's extremely sensitive to our diets, and respectful that we want to make different eating choices.  This is wonderful if you're vegetarian for personal health reasons, or you're doing it to make yourself feel pure and holy.   My dad makes me feel understood and accepted.  But in terms of helping animals....well, it's not helping them.   

47. LOVED this article from PETA.   It almost made me cry.   I think it makes so much sense.   I've heard the mindset before, but I think it's something I needed to hear again.    They're pretty much saying that being a fanatic about veganism really doesn't help animals.

I love this line.   The goal of sticking to a vegetarian or vegan diet is to help animals and reduce suffering; this is done by choosing a bean burrito or a veggie burger over chicken flesh, or choosing tofu scramble over eggs, not by refusing to eat an otherwise vegan food because it has 0.001 grams of monoglycerides that may possibly be animal-derived.

And I like this line.  And we urge vegetarians not to insist that their food be cooked on equipment separate from that used to cook meat; doing so doesn’t help any additional animals, and it only makes restaurants less inclined to offer vegetarian choices (which, again, hurts animals).

48. Decided to read some more Tallygarunga stuff.  

I'm going to read about Claire Irving and Blake Harper.  I may have started to read their story before. I can't remember.  I might as well start from the top.

It's a rainy weekend, and Claire is in the Flinders common room. She's happily drawing.

Blake has just awakened from his nap. He went to the common room to do some homework, and like JK Rowling he realized he was lacking a writing instrument.

Blake asks Claire to borrow a pencil.  She's very nice and says yes. But all she has her colored pencils for drawing.  Will he accept that, or will he go seek a writing utensil elsewhere?

He's accepting.  He's going to write with purple.

All right.  I'm finished reading that exchange.  It's simple, not very dramatic.  But I liked it.  It was sweet.  

49. Excited to find another scene with Tamarah.   I'm not sure if it happened before the dinner scene, after the dinner scene; or is it just something we're not supposed to try to understand.   That's another reason why I'm thinking it's best I stay away from actually participating in Tallygarunga. I get too clogged up with details like that.

In this scene, Tamarah is in the Spencer Common room.   Emily's the other character here.   She's played by the young vampire version of Kirsten Dunst.  Emily's new to the school and Tamarah is one of the first students she's meeting.  Nothing too exciting is happening yet.   I'll eagerly wait for new developments.

50. Read about a new student Camryn Adiarte.   She's at the wand store to get her first wand.  She didn't know until recently that she was a witch.   Will she find a wand?  Will she find a friend?  Will she like school?  Will she adjust to the boarding school life or will she miss her mum too much?

We shall find out soon....I'm sure.  

 51. Started to watch another Peter Combe video.  This one is called Newspaper Mama.   I think it may be a poem instead of a song.  

Never mind. There's music now.

Combe's songs have very catchy tunes.