Friday, July 1, 2011

Dreams, Accents, Comments, and Lake House Craziness

1. Finished reading Alyzon Whitestarr.   It was a great book with interesting themes and messages.   I'd love to blab on and on about it.  But I'm not good at talking in depth about fiction without giving away major spoilers.

For some reason the book gave me the urge to quit blogging.  Okay, but don't get excited about me disappearing.  It's not going to happen. I wanted to quit because I suddenly became very self-conscious about all that I reveal to strangers. But I don't want to give up blogging because I love Australia; and I love the reading and the learning. I know that if I quit the blog and just read on my own, I won't read as carefully. I won't learn as much. I'll became lazy. Having the blog forces me to slow down and really pay attention.

I could just stop talking about myself, and talk only about Australia. I know some people would prefer this.  But the talking-about-myself bit is my therapy.  Although it embarrasses me at times, it keeps me from being depressed and totally crazy.

2. Woke up in the middle of the night to pee.  Before going back to bed, I did the pathetic thing of checking my email.  There was an email from Andrew that mentioned A Cry in the Dark.   I went back to sleep and dreamed about the Lindsay Chamberlain case.  Oh!  Wait. Wasn't that in the news yesterday too? Or was that part of my dream? 

Well, I'm not seeing anything when I search for it on Google news.  Maybe it was my dream.  In my dream: I watch a documentary about the case.   I learn that the Chamberlains were part of a cult, and I realize this information makes me less sympathetic towards them.   

There's a cult in Alyzon Whitestarr.  I think that influenced my dream too. And in a vague way, the family in the book reminds me of the Chamberlain family.  

3. Had many more Australia-related dreams.  I'll try to make them as brief as possible.

A) Australian friends send us home-cooked food.  Tim eats it all.  Later I'm resentful about this, even though it's food I don't like or food I don't allow myself to eat. I try to make Tim feel guilty even though it's really my fault.

B) I sneak into the apartment building of an Australian email-pal.  I think the doorman helps me to do this.  I don't mean any harm.  Nor do I mean to be creepy and awful.   But suddenly I feel creepy and awful.  I decide to flee.  I accidentally take letters written by the email-pal. I worry he'll notice they're missing and become paranoid about the whole thing (rightfully so).  

I think the idea was I was going to surprise him by being there.  But later it seemed less of a pleasant surprise than a creepy stalker type surprise.

As much as I adore some of my email-pals, I would probably be frightened if I came home to find one in my house waiting for me.  It would be preferable if they tell me ahead of time that they're visiting.

C) We're planning to go to NYC, but for some reason that's not going to work. My dad suggests we go to Australia instead, and seems to be willing to help pay for part of our trip. I am excited and grateful to get his support.  I start talking about it and he pretty much tells me to shut up.  He doesn't want to hear about Australia.  There's the idea that if I keep talking about it, he'll retract his support.  

D) I go to some exhibit about September 11.  There's ship models there, for some reason. I hear something about how the planes needed to get to Italy. I'm wondering why then were they heading to Australia?  Isn't there a better way to get to Italy?  Then I remember that it was Lost not 9/11 in which the crashed plane was heading to Australia. 

Although that's wrong.  The planes in Lost were heading BACK from Sydney.  

4. Thought about Alyzon Whitestarr.  It's strange that it gave me the urge to quit blogging because I think the book actually gives the opposite message.  I was about to try to explain what I mean; but I can't really do it without giving too much stuff away.

It could be just a coincidence.  I do get self-conscious about my blog every so often. Maybe it just happened to happen the same time that I was reading Alyzon Whitestarr. Then I attributed the feelings to the book.

5. Listened to a song by Holly Throsby.

She was mentioned in an email I read today.

Holly has a very beautiful voice. I'm liking this song.

6. Watched a trailer for The Tree.   It's a French-Australian movie.  It looks beautiful and sad. The girl's lines at the end made me choke up a bit.   

7. Inspired by Andrew's email to listen to Meryl Streep's Australian accent in A Cry in the Dark.

Andrew thinks her accent was bad. I wanted to see if I agree.

I don't think it's awful, but she seems to slip back into an American accent at times. It's kind of like a hybrid accent. She sounds like an American who has lived in Australia for a long time; or an Australian who has lived in America.

Here's my old attempt at an Australian accent.

I've been told it sounds more British than Australian. I probably agree; although I think I sound somewhat Australian at 3:26.

And here's me trying to be British for my Magic is Might inspired blog. My luck I probably sound more Australian.

I really can't do accents on demand.

8. Decided to put commenting back on my blog, mainly because I'm tired of trying to explain and justify why I disabled them.

So there you go....leave your comments.   Please talk to each other and become best friends.   Then I'll feel returning comments was worth it.   I would love to hear five years from now that people are getting married, and that they met on my blog.

That would be so cool.

9. Decided if I'm going to return comments, then I will also link to this old post which has all my commenting rules.   Please read it!

10. Saw that the sidebar on my blog is taking a really long time to load.  I'm worried it's because of the embedded videos.   I hope it's not.   I like the embedded videos.   

11. Gathered up books to take to the lake house for my holiday weekend reading.  It's silly because I rarely don't get much book-reading done at the lake house.

Anyway, I'm taking two books that happen to be first novels.  One is Maria Boyd's Will; and the other is Anthony Eaton's The Darkness.   Hopefully, I'll like at least one of them.  

12. Started to feel a bit worried about reading first novels.   What if the writing is bad because the writers didn't yet have enough practice with novel writing?

Then I remembered that Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is a first novel.  

There's probably a ton of fantastic first novels out there.  

13. Figured out that it wasn't my embedded videos causing the slowness of the sidebar loading. It was some widget I had; that I didn't even know that I had. I got rid of it.

I wrongly blamed it on the Feed-Jit widget.   Now I have to go re-install that. 

14. Talked to Tim and Jack about our maybe future trip to Australia while we were driving to the lake house.  I shared my idea again about trying to squish Sydney into three full days. I think it will work.

15. Went to Tallygarunga.  Today, I'm going to read something new to me. It's called A Little Magic Won't Hurt.  

It takes place in a place called Tarnagulla Centre. The centre has the Sturt dorms and common room.   The classes there are Charms, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Healing, and Magical Law and Government.

The hospital wing is there.

And there's a hallway. That's where the story thread takes place.

There's two characters so far; Roxanne Scott, a sixth year Spencer student and Oliver Rhydderch.   Oliver is the guy who started the big Spencer party.

16. Started to read the story thread.

Roxanne is my kind of girl.  She likes to sing, and she likes writing in her journal.

She used magic to turn her pen and journal into birds. Then she sang "Bippity--Boppity-Boo."   That's very cute.

Oliver comes along.  He's not liking the cold.  The guy's not a fan of winter.   He hears Roxanne singing and likes her voice.  Then he uses some spell to create rabbits.  I'm not sure whether they're real rabbits or rabbits made out of light.  It's cool though.

I love rabbits.   

17. Decided to read Roxanne Scott's biography.  But first I'm going to check on the family and put in some lake house socializing time.   

18. Started to read the biography.

It says Roxanne is 5"3, and that she's very short for her age.  Really?   I didn't think 5"3 is very short...just regular short.   I'm 5'3, and I don't think I'm very short. Actually, I've shrunk and now I'm 5"2.   I still don't consider myself very short though.

It's probably all about perspective.

19. Learned that Roxanne is Muggleborn; and she was born in New Zealand.

She's in the Spencer house.   

Her Patronus is a bottle-nosed dolphin.

I wonder what my Patronus would be.

20. Learned that Roxanne looks young for her age.  I was like that in my teen years.   When I was sixteen, I looked about twelve. I also acted twelve.

I still act like I'm twelve.

21. Learned that Roxanne is an orphan.

She likes to clown around—like a typical Spencer student.  

22. Started to read chapter sixteen of Fruitcake's blog. It's about Western Australia.

Fruitcake talks about how different groups had different wants and agendas.

The farmers wanted Aboriginals around for cheap labor.

The labor movement fretted about Aboriginal people taking their jobs.

The Christians wanted Aboriginal people segregated.  Fruitcake says they did this to protect them from white people.  And they also hoped that the Aboriginal people would convert to Christianity.  

Were they trying to protect them from the influence of white people, those who weren't Christian?   Or were they trying to protect them from white people who might hurt or kill them?

23. Learned from Fruitcake that AO Neville did his assimilation stuff in Western Australia.   I probably already knew that, but I think I forgot.

Fruitcake says, While no state can reasonably claim that its hands are clean, Western Australia was the most blatantly racist in its determination to take mixed race children from their families.   

Some things did get better...after awhile.

Fruitcake lists laws that came into place 1954.  One of them is that Aboriginal people can no longer be barred from cities and towns.  It's sad that we have discrimination in the world; but nice to see it that it sometimes goes away.

It makes me wonder what laws do we take for granted today; that fifty years from now people will look back and think, What bigots!  It's probably something that at this point most of us couldn't even imagine.

24. Had Paul Keating's speech in my mind.

It seems to me that if we can imagine the injustice than we can imagine the opposite. And we can have justice.  

I'm glad he stood up for Aboriginal Australians.

I wish he stood up for asylum seekers.

25. Read some of this interview with Keating about asylum seekers.  From what I can see, it doesn't seem like he's softened too much on the issue.  

He says, I'm not quite happy to discuss this other issue but just let me say generally, that, if we process somebody who claims to be a refugee and is a refugee, they have a right of entry here.

We have centres where people are processed.

Yes.  Centers where they can be kept indefinitely.

Keating seems to go along with the distrustful attitude towards asylum seekers; the idea that they're opportunists.

26. Decided I shouldn't be so harsh towards Keating.  Yes, mandatory detention came about under his rule; but that was 1992. There's been plenty of time since then to get rid of it.

Under which Prime Minister will it disappear?

And under which Prime Minister will gay marriage be legal?

27. Realized that the year Paul Keating introduced mandatory detention is the same year he did his famous heartfelt Redfern speech.

Maybe if we can imagine the injustice of locking up people seeking safety and freedom, then we can imagine the opposite.

Hopefully the SBS's Go Back To Where You Came From will help people open up their minds and imagine.  

I wonder if Paul Keating watched it.  

28.  Saw that my Australian of the year is Rodney Howard Alsop.  The Australian Dictionary of Biography says he is an architect.  

Rodney was born in Melbourne.  He did not have good health; and he spent much of his resting time drawing.

He did get out of the house. He went to school, and on Saturdays he did work for some architects.

I'm not going to say much about all this.  It's too hectic around here at the lake house right now.  It's hard for me to concentrate.


Rodney designed buildings.  He also designed furniture and landscapes. That's all I have time to say for now.

29. Found a Perth architecture blog that has photos of a house built by Rodney Alsop.   Our lake house has a roof kind of like that.  I think a lot of houses in Sydney have that type of roof...or at least the same color.

30. Found website that has photos of Winthrop Hall at the University of Western Australia. Alsop is responsible for that building too. From what I read in the Australian Dictionary of Biography, it's what he's most known for.