Friday, July 8, 2011

Barefoot, Gnathostomiasis, Fluoride, and Compliments

1. Talked to my friend about TV shows she watches these days. She mentioned Castle with Nathan Fillion, and told me about his other show Firefly.   I felt tempted to say,  He also plays the headmaster of Tallygarunga!

2.  Had a dream that related to Australia.  I take a walk alone in NYC.  I walk and walk and walk.   Then I decide to find out how far I've gone.  I look at the street sign.  I'm on 7th street (7 is my favorite number).  I think about how I'm in the East Village, and that the Tuck Shop is close by.  I decide not to go there, and instead go to a bakery with fancy cupcakes.   

Suddenly, I realize I'm wearing no shoes. I'm a bit embarrassed and rush out of the shop.  I think about how if I was in Australia, going barefoot would be tolerated.  In NYC you must wear shoes.

I've heard rumors that there are towns in Australia where people sometimes walk around barefoot.   I'm doubting it would be as welcome in the big cities. 

3. Found a website that says many children in Cairns go to school barefoot.  

4. Looked at a question about barefoot Australia on Yahoo.  Someone answered that there's a lot of barefoot people in Queensland, and it's also seen in New South Wales and Victoria.   Less barefoot people are seen in the Northern Territory, South Australia, Western Australia, and big cities within New South Wales and Victoria.  The answerer doesn't mention Tasmania.

Other people answered that being barefoot is not popular or acceptable in Australia.  

5. Read a blog post from an expat in Australia. She talks about the whole barefoot thing—giving the pros and cons.  

I like walking barefoot, but would probably do it only in a town where it's acceptable, so I don't get kicked out of shops.  If it's not to hot at the lake house, I'll sometimes walk barefoot outside.   I rarely walk on the grass though because there are fire ants.

Jack never goes barefoot outside. He wears shoes even to go out in the back to our own pool.   Although yesterday, I was wishing I did that because the ground was unbearably hot.  

6. Found it hard not to despise Julia Gillard when I read this article. Not only does she not want gay couples marrying in Australia; she's also blocking their ability to get married in New York.  

To get married in New York, couples need a CNI (certificate of non-impediment to marriage) from their home country. Gillard is refusing to let homosexual people have this.

What is her deal? And when will someone else be Prime Minister?

7. Decided I shouldn't judge Julia Gillard because I don't know the whole story.

Maybe she's being blackmailed.  Maybe the life of one of her family members is at stake. Maybe someone is saying that if she supports gay marriage, they'll make something horrible happen.

That's the only scenario that makes sense to me.

8. Wondered if it was true that a couple was eaten alive by tiny little worms in their body.  I saw it on Google news, but it looked like the story hadn't been picked up by mainstream Australian news sources.  

One of the articles mentioned that it was seen in the Australian Medical Journal. So I looked there

It's true.

A couple in Western Australia acquired a condition called Gnathostomiasis.  It's a parasite. And the couple had the first case in Australia.

Fortunately, the couple didn't get eaten completely. They got medical treatment, and are still alive.   Hopefully, they'll be okay.

9. Went to Tallygarunga and it's not there.  The account was suspended.  The same thing happened with Magic is Might one day.  Maybe it's the curse of Harry Potter.

Hopefully, Tallygarunga will be back up soon.

10. Saw that Tallygarunga used to have another home.   

11. Saw that my Australian of the Day is Sir Arthur Barton Pilgrim.  He was a professor of dental science in the 20th century.

Arthur was born in Perth.  He went on to do the dentistry thing.   He had a private practice in Melbourne.  Later he became a professor.

Arthur was not good at taking criticism.  When he was criticized, he attacked the critic rather than addressing the argument.  That's annoying. People do it on the internet a lot.

Arthur was very much against fluoridation. I think there are people against fluoride today, but probably not many dentists.

12. Consulted Lord Wiki about fluoridation. He's pretty much in favor of the whole thing.  He says it reduces teeth decay, and as long as there are no overdoses, it doesn't seem to have serious adverse effects.  

13. Saw that this natural dentistry site (and many other sites) strongly disagree with Lord Wiki.   They believe that fluoride is a horribly unhealthy and dangerous substance. They don't want it in the water.  

14. Related to scene in Maria Boyd's Will.   One of the character's fathers comes to see him perform as the lead in the musical.  After the performance he compliments his son by saying he was brave.

People have said this to me about my singing and accent videos on YouTube.

I'm brave?  I take that to mean I am brave enough to embarrass myself by making these videos when I have absolutely no talent. 

It's like when someone sees a baby and says, Oh, what an adorable outfit; or I love the stroller. It's darling!

Sometimes a compliment is a slap in the face. But I give the person credit for trying to be nice.

15. Finished reading Will...finally.   I'm disappointed in myself for taking so long to read it. I really need to dedicate more time to book reading.

16. Started to read The Darkness by Anthony Eaton.   It's about a place called Isolation Bay.  I don't know if it's a fictional place, or a real one.  It's supposed to be (or really is) in the southern part of Western Australia.  

17. Googled Isolation Bay Australia.  I didn't find anything; so I guess it's fictional.  I sort of suspected that.

18. Saw that Tallygarunga is back.

That's good!

I'm going to read the continuation of Because You Saw Me When I Was Invisible.    This is the story of the two best friends reunited in the library.  Leanna had gone off for two months to China.   She hadn't told her friend where she was, or why she had gone. Now she's back, and Delia is completely forgiving.

Delia says, But you were going through a lot. It's no wonder that it slipped your mind. And I'd be a really self-absorbed person if I got mad because of that.

Under Delia's definition, I'd be very self-absorbed.   I'd be okay if a casual friend or acquaintance disappeared for a few months.  I might not even notice they were gone.  But a best friend?

Now if a best friend's plane crashed on a  tropical island with polar bears and had no way of contacting me, I'd be understanding. I wouldn't get mad. But family drama is no excuse for completely disappearing for two months.  

19. Liked that Leanna is still apologetic and feels guilty. She seems nice, even though she made the mistake.

I'm feeling guilty because I forgot to write back one of my email-pals.   I usually write him every 2-3 days, but today I realized I let ten days go without writing to him.   I also let too much time pass between emails when we were in NYC as well.  I was very apologetic.  He was SUPER nice about it.  But still I felt bad.  And now I feel worse because I've done it again.

To me, it's all about patterns really.   If you have a best friend, and for some reason you talk infrequently than a two month absence might not be that bad.  Personally, though, I can't see how people could be best friends if they don't talk to each other frequently.  I may have an idealistic view of friendship; but my feeling is if friends don't talk to each almost every day, they're really not best friends.  These days, with the internet, it's so easy to talk to friends on a regular basis.    Of course, there're exceptions.   A best friend might get very busy.   They might lose their internet connection.   They might be having a very difficult day or two; so they might need their space. For the most part though, I imagine true best friends have frequent communication.

My only best friends are Tim and Jack.  I talk to them every day.  I have lots of casual friendships.   The amount of communication varies.   Some friends I talk to almost every day.  Some I talk to a few times a week.  And with some friends, weeks or even months go by without a word.    I think it only gets bad if the pattern of communication changes.    I don't feel that bad if it takes me ten days (or more) to write back a friend.   I do feel bad, though, if I usually write them more often, because I worry that they'll worry that I don't like them anymore.  Why do I worry about that?   Because if the roles were reversed, that's how I'd feel.